Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School class teacher Pamela Giles recommends The Value of a Mess – You should let your kids totally botch household chores from an early age by Jessica Lahey, excerpted from The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.
“It’s never too early—or too late—to teach children how to contribute and problem-solve under their own power. Despite all the protests to the contrary, kids want to play useful roles in their family’s success. As parents have slowly but systematically deprived them of those roles, we owe them the patience and time it takes to give that purpose and responsibility back. The contribution of your children to the daily work of keeping a house and running a family will not only be a boon to the family now, but your kids’ increased competence and sense of responsibility will set them apart from their more coddled peers when they head off to college or land their first jobs. They have had opportunities to fail, to mess up and fix their errors, and won’t be fazed by a misstep here and there as young adults.”