My Little Painter

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When are kids old enough to be helpful? You parents out there know what I mean. Kids want to be helpful, but that usually means more work for us parents and the chore will take a lot longer to finish. Funny how little kids think chores are fun, but when they get older they hate chores and don’t want to do them. Back to my question, when are kids old enough to be helpful? Is it nine? Eighteen? Never?

I’m bringing this up because we painted the living room last week. As you can imagine, all four of our kids thought painting would be fun and wanted to help paint. Yes, even the little baby. Little Disney can’t talk yet, but he let us know he wanted to help by eyeing the paint roller and then crying every time we picked up the roller.

We decided to let the Little Princess “help” paint, but we said no to the other kids. With Spiderboy and the Little Monkey, there was a 200% probability they would “accidentally” paint each other. We didn’t think the Little Princess would be very helpful, but we wanted to give her the chance to prove us wrong. She didn’t. We had to repaint most of the sections she painted. Oh well. At least she didn’t lose a limb, paint the carpet, or knocked me off the 20′ ladder (note: a 16′ high living room is cool until you have to paint it, then it really sucks — sorta of like holding a baby when he has a diaper blow-out, but one hundred million nine times worst).

My little painter - nine year old daughter painting the living room

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25 thoughts on “My Little Painter

  1. I so get this … the help you get slows you down, causes stress and is bound to result in three to six other tasks now needing your attention. Yet we have to let them help – their wee faces – see pic above – are the reward.

    As always you are a rocking daddy :) le

    Read le´s recent blog post..One for Blue

  2. YIkes! You’re braver than I am. I do think it’s important to let them help now, because you’re setting a precedent for times in the future when you really willl need their help. However, at your kids ages, when it comes to painting, sometimes the best way to help is to entertain themselves elsewhere. You know; like taking a bucket of paint out to a fence :)

    Hey, thanks for taking the time to pop in today and comment on the birthday party post. I really appreciate it, because I know you are crazy busy and have your hands full. Thanks. :)

    Read Mrs4444´s recent blog post..Celebrating Mom

    1. I thought it would be good practice for the Little Princess. At some point my wife will want the girls’ room repainted and I don’t really want to paint it again. I’m hoping the Little Princess could do it next time.

  3. To me it really depends on the job itself and the age of the child. Oh, and the child’s personality, too, because if they’re the type of person who starts things but never finishes, then a large project probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

    Read Desert Songbird´s recent blog post..Ruby Tuesday #12

  4. I think the idea is to stay ON the ladder. *wink* I always tell myself the goal is to expose them young, then maybe by the time they’re in their 30’s they’ll figure out how to be really helpful. :)

    Hugs,
    Holly

    Read Holly Schwendiman´s recent blog post..Becoming Mom

  5. I love the shirt!

    And B is kinda helpful 5% of the time so I think that’s a progress.

    At least Little Princess thought she was helping. Hehe

  6. This is what I have my kids do once before lunch and repeat before dinner.

    Chaz (8 yrs)- Make his bed, pick up any garbage on floor in any part of house, feed dog, find any clothes or socks in any part of the rooms and put in dirty hamper.

    Ryan (7 yrs)- Wipes kid’s table (after meals though), puts away any books or games that have been left out, straightens living room, makes his bed.

    Kyle (5 yrs)- empties small recyle bin into big one in garage, puts away all toys in any room, makes sure toilet paper is stocked in kid’s bathroom, finds any kid’s cups around house (that might’ve been used at night time).

    Ivy (3 yrs)- picks up her own toys and puts all kids shoes in shoe bucket.

    I just gave those for an example. :) It really helps to have these things repeated twice a day. They have to do these before they can eat so it’s a huge motivator. Hee hee… It saves me from taking care of things that were messes that the kids made. Not me. They are getting better about noticing messes they make because they know they have to fix them. :P

    Read Virginia´s recent blog post..Kidney Stones Are Not Nice!

  7. I know I should have the kids do more around here, but it takes up too much time, LOL. So much faster to do it myself. It varies from kid to kid when they truly become helpful. My oldest son could handle big jobs, like straightening up a whole room, as a toddler. My middle son will probably not be able to do that same job until he’s an adult, if ever!

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