Using a Can of Beans to Make Your Child Feel Important

by : Laura Bankston

They are such little miracles, and at times I'm just overwhelmed with the responsibility of them.

Tonight as I watched my daughter, Maegan, I was amazed at how excited she was, how important that she felt - all because of a can of green beans.

That's right, a can of green beans.

Today was an extremely busy day, so when we got home at 4:45; the kids were hungry and I was tired. So, I decided to warm a frozen lasagne and have that and green beans.

Three-year-old Maegan wanted to help, and tonight was the perfect night since dinner was going to be so simple.

So first, I put the lasagne in the microwave to cook, set the timer, and let Maegan press the 'start' button. That's great excitement to her, you know. I'm sure you've seen the same thing with your toddlers.

Then we put the lasagne in the oven together to brown. She knows where the light button is on the oven, and she loves to be able to check on her food cooking all by herself.

Just before the lasagne was done, I opened the cans of green beans. I gave her a container and the opened cans. She was so excited to pour the green beans into the dish (and that's also good motor development work). She concentrated so hard to make sure all the beans went into the dish. But, the green beans were in a pile, so she asked for a spoon to 'spread out 'her' green beans.' I let her do that, and then we put them in the microwave - with her pressing the start button of course.

Then she went at sat at the table and beamed. I told her thank you for being such a big help to Mom.

She said, 'I love to be a helper, Mom.'

My heart melted. She was so happy and proud to have made dinner. She was so pleased to play such an important role in making dinner.

And, once again, I was reminded how vital it is to make our kids feel important. It's just as necessary for the development of their self-worth as the activities we are so careful to include to progress their motor development.

It's more than just a can of green beans - it was playing the important role.