I’ve definitely been guilty of double and triple checking that my child is sure he or she wants to sew their project that way, or wear those pants with that shirt… yet I bite my lip more often than not and truly have a heart to embrace their individuality. But it is sure tough work sometimes. Our society generally views children as incapable and in need of almost constant instruction, direction, correction… yet I am reminded each day of just how capable children are. To create. To learn. To grow. To give. To love. To solve problems. To serve.
For our advent journey this year, during the light of plants, we visited our amazing local garden centre to pick up some succulents for terrariums and also called ahead to offer up our help for an hour or two. I knew our kids were capable of helping, and that their hearts were there. I expected that they’d be given a broom to sweep up, recycling to take out or other odd jobs around the garden centre. What they were actually entrusted with was an afternoon behind the counter, scanning products on the computer to find prices and using the pricing guns to add price stickers to each and every product that was set out. I was honestly a bit reluctant, thinking we might break something, erase their computer database, or mislabel a product (we did almost have a $16.99 product labeled $61.99!), but these capable beings showed me who’s boss. The garden centre owners were thrilled to have the help, and our kiddos were filled up to the brim with autonomy and ownership over their task and the warmth of sharing their time and capacity to serve. It was really neat to see smiles from customers as they saw the kids behind the till working away so proudly. Kudos to these wonderful business owners and parents who see what kids have to offer and trusted our kids to shine.
This is definitely something we will aim to incorporate into our lives more in the new year – to connect with our community and to find ways for the kids to really explore their capability through acts of kindness and service.
How have your children rocked their capability lately? If you have a story, please share in the comments!