Are you the kind of person who prefers to do things on your own rather than allow your kid to help, because it’s easier, less messy, and more peaceful? What would happen if you were to push past your natural inclination and invite them to participate with you? Sarah Bragg explains how inviting your kids into your space, and into your story, can help deepen your relationships.

“It was a Tuesday afternoon and the girls’ tennis lessons were cut short due to a rain storm. I don’t know what phase your children are in, but I have a kindergartner and second grader. My older one is in a phase where she is deathly afraid of many things — one of which are storms. So running off the tennis court with dark clouds overhead was straight out of a nightmare for her.

By the time we arrived at home, all I wanted to do was command ask her to leave my presence. I was fully emotionally drained by that point with dinner still looming over me.

As I turned the stove on to heat the pan, I stopped myself from asking her to leave the kitchen. Instead, I did something out of the ordinary for me. I did something that surprised myself.

Instead of asking her to leave, I asked her to join me. I invited her to cook with me. This is not my normal behavior because I don’t like things messing up. I don’t like things taking longer than they have to. However, I know my child and I know that her love tank is filled with quality time. Quality time with me. Me doing something with her that is sometimes easier for me to do alone.

Me: “Sinclair, will you come brown the meat for me?”

Sinclair: “What? Me?!?! Are you serious? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Seriously, the only way to fully capture her reaction is through an exuberant amount of exclamation points. So there she stood in front of the stove pushing the meat back and forth beaming from ear to ear. You could almost see the love on her face.

As I stood there watching her, I realized that walls break down and love grows when we invite our children in our story.”

Read the full article here.