Someone shared a teaching model with me recently that has had me re-thinking some of the patterns I have been living, and teaching, by. Here is the model:

I do and you watch.

I do and you help.

You do and I help.

You do and I watch.

A simple model, but like most things simple, very powerful.

As a (time-pressed) single parent I tend to skip from I do and you watch to you do and I watch…for a minute… and then I am going to go over here and do something else I think needs done. This leaves out a whole field of parent-child interaction. We have so many modern conveniences that are designed to save us time, but they also eliminate the need to SPEND that time working together. It doesn’t take two people to load up the dishwasher. And it doesn’t really take two people to wash dishes by hand. But some of the most engaging, and wisdom-imparting times I had with my grandmother took place while washing dishes together.

The same goes for yard work. It doesn’t take two people to weed the flower bed, but that could be time spent talking about a girl’s dreams for the future. Ten minutes at a time can build a solid foundation of trust and listening.

There are a number of reasons why I have not had the time or energy to focus on these “small” matters. But maybe now that I am more aware of them, I can begin to be more intentional about them. And trust that any foundation is better than none.