Catholic Activity: Helping Mother
When possible, always encourage your children to help with your household chores, even if this makes the tasks more time-consuming for you.
When Father has started off to work in the morning and the older children have gone off to school, there seems to settle over the house an air of privacy, a time belonging to the little ones and Mother. There's the lingering memory of many voices and footsteps, together with the pleasant anticipation of again hearing them near the end of the day; but this is the interval when a little world exists for the stay-at-homes.
After catching your breath, Mother, you will get to the first task of the day. If it is the breakfast dishes, your oldest preschooler very likely will offer to "help." Accept this well-meaning offer, even if you can make better time by doing it yourself and can save breath by not answering the endless questions or a helper nearing six. For what is your time, if not to give to your children, your most cherished assignment? Try to answer questions as they come. Sometimes, parents look toward a day when they will have time to "talk" with a child. They fail to realize that "a" talk, as such, is of no value. A child is taught, guided, and enlightened by constant association with his parents rather than by an occasional "lecture."
Responsibility Aside from the pleasure you and your child find in each other's company, there is a definite good in his wanting to help you. He is learning to assume his proper share of responsibility for things about the home. He is enjoying the fine sensation of helpfulness to others. He is finding out how to accomplish properly and cheerfully the small task he has assumed. This training, as we see so often, is for the future, when he will have to assume responsibility to a greater degree.
No one day is very different from another, yet no day is actually like the one just past. The days move along and reach into the future. There is rightness and meaning and beauty in these years at home when your child is so little. And though you may be weary from ironing, mending, washing, and dusting, you retain a certain buoyancy of spirit as you realize your glorious assignment of guiding your child's soul and body.
Activity Source: From Stroller to School, Parent-Educator Series 2, Leaflets 13-24, Three to Six Years by Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1962