I’ve seen a meme on social media lately that says something to the fact that if kids would snap beans they would be better people. It doesn’t really say that, mind you, but that’s the impression I got when I saw it.
Honestly, though, I think there’s more to it that a meme just may not explain well enough to young parents.
A couple of things came to me while watching my youngest snap beans with his grandpa this week.
First, it’s about the work. Titus was working to make food that we will enjoy (and need) this winter. There is a satisfaction of being able to say thank you to my boys for helping us have food on our table. It gives them a sense of “I helped. I did something significant.”
Our children’s church curriculum teaches that to help a student feel significant, give them something significant to do. I think this works in every aspect of a child’s life. Snappin’ beans (work), when you teach them what the benefits are, is a part of that.
Another thing I noticed was that Titus took correction well from grandpa when he didn’t snap them “just so.” Listening to someone correct you is hard for all of us. Hearing it from someone other than me is important. The boys learn that correction is normal.
I think something happens over a bowl of snapped beans. Frankly, it can happen at the dinner table, the car ride and over a sink full of dishes. Time spent talking to each other, working together with a goal in mind is key to raising our kids in this crazy world. (You don’t just have to snap beans, either.)
It’s all about the time spent with each other. Talking with each other.