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  • Erin


The first part of Hunt, Gather, Parent talked so much about kids helping. I've been practicing lots of the tools from the book. Including being more patient about my kiddo helping. He's four years old and has lots of practice carefully using sharp knives. Since he was two! But sometimes I just want to get it done! And I tell myself it'll be faster if I just do it. But Hunt, Gather, Parent really impressed on me that by slowing down I'm also making Kiddo part of our "team" which will give him more incentive to continue to help with and without being asked in years to come than something like a chore chart.

So while it might take slightly longer to let him help now, in the language of permaculture, I'm Stacking Functions. Building Kiddo's skills and getting dinner made. And I've seen improvement in his eagerness to help just by me slowing down a bit.

I stumbled on a trick to help myself slow down. Kiddo wanted to chop the green leaves of the Bok Choy with the big knife in that "fast chopping" way where you kind of rock the knife. (And he's good at it!). That meant that I had to use the less efficient paring knife to slice the stems. Which slowed me down and gave my hands a new way to work which felt like some "nutritious movement" a la Katy Bowman. She recommends hunt, gathering, foraging and processing your own food to get your movement in and save the energy that would be expended to outsource it.

The next section of Hunt, Gather, Parent really emphasized calmness. "If there is one tool you master, master this one" author Michaeleen says. I've already been practicing this and it feels so much better. Touch, looks, and best of all, silence, have been useful tools and brought the frenetic energy in our house down!

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