My children had a meeting yesterday. The oldest lead the meeting. They had to take turns talking. They could only speak if they were holding the wooden fork.
They have a space they share, and they were discussing how to work together in that space. They talked about what they expected from each other, and what they did not like. I sat in the other room, so I would not interfere. I want them to learn to speak for themselves, and not have me play referee. I want them to listen and not interrupt when someone else is talking. I want them to be quick to listen and slow to become angry.
The wooden fork was passed around and everyone had a chance to talk and to listen.
I like to show my children I love them by doing things for them. Showing my children love through acts of service; doing their laundry, cooking for them and cleaning their rooms. My friend Rebekah Crill in California told me that I was actually doing a disservice to my children by not training them to take care of themselves. I was not teaching them to be independent, or self reliant. In a sense I was treating them like babies and handicapping their future. Either they wouldn’t know how to do anything, or they would expect someone else to take of of them, and clean up their messes.
My children do their own laundry now, on their assigned day. They are learning to cook, clean and to speak up. I am learning to love them by letting them take care of themselves.