“Children can do more than you think.” That was one of the first things I heard when I accepted the job of Noble Thrive by 5 Coordinator.
I remembered back to when my son was young. What did I let him do on his own? Probably not much because I was afraid he would hurt himself, or test my patience. He’s 20 now, but I admit there are still things I am afraid to let him do on his own. I suppose I would have fallen under the category of “helicopter parent.” I’ve apologized to him for that.
The Apple Tree Center, which provides Preschool, out of school camps, and before/after school care understands the concept of “children can do more than you think.” On November 24, 2021, they engaged the children in the kitchen, preparing for a Thanksgiving feast. They divided into groups, with one working on the mashed potatoes, one taking on the task of preparing the pumpkin pie dessert, yet another setting the table, and a group making the stuffing. There were even more groups, as it takes a lot of hands to make a Thanksgiving mealT
Everyone from preschoolers (the youngest being age 3) to upper elementary students got involved. They had a wonderful time mixing, scraping bowls, adding ingredients, and yes, sampling a little of the food along the way. They were having fun, but best of all, they were learning and building confidence in themselves. They can do the work…under the careful guidance of Miss Debbie and other adults, of course.
It’s not just preparing a meal that The Apple Tree Center lets the children do. They also sweep floors, clean up after themselves, and put toys away. Sometimes, it’s disappointing for parents when the children are happy to do that work at the center, but refuse to do it at home!
I wish I knew then what I know now. If I could have a do-over of raising my son, I would let him try so many more things earlier in his life. I can hope that he will learn from my mistakes and allow his own children the chance to try thing new things, even if he doesn’t think they can do it. Children know when they are ready!
Here’s a video from our partners The Dekko Foundation about how children CAN be self-sufficient. Let us know what you think, and how you allow your children to explore at home. — Jenna Anderson, Noble Thrive by 5 Coordinator