Being Helpful

Will has hit a stage where he wants to be helpful.

For him, at this age, "being helpful" looks like carrying something for me. He'll carry a box in from the car. He'll carry something in the grocery store. He'll carry a shirt or a towel downstairs.

"Being helpful" for a 3 year old isn't really about getting a task accomplished. Child-helpers introduce risk (Don't drop it!) and inefficiencies (Sure, I can take the heavy stuff out of the bag so you can carry it). But we let them help because it gives us something to do together.

Being helpful is about the relationship.

A lot of us go through seasons where we just don't feel super-helpful to anyone. Those seasons tend to be filled with a surprising and profound loneliness. We don't expect loneliness and helpfulness to walk hand in hand, but they do. Helping other people connects us with them.

Are you feeling lonely?

Ask someone you care about if there's anything you can do to help them. Sure, your help might not be "needed." But there's more to being helpful than getting stuff done.

That's true even if you're older than three.

No comments:

Post a Comment