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Sandra tried her best to care for her children. After school, she greeted them at the door then said, “Please bring your containers to the sink for washing.”

Her children were eager to play on their tablets and dismissed her request with, “Ok, I will.”

Knowing her children were small, Sandra was forgiving when they didn’t comply and eventually got tired of offering her help, not up for the task of digging into her children’s bags.

Sandra wanted to care for her children and had to remember herself to continue caring for them. What should Sandra do to care for herself and her children? Is it fair for her children to care for their own containers when they choose to refuse her help for play? If they were older, would they be depending on Sandra’s assistance?


This story was inspired by a real-life situation and helped me to calm myself as I worked out what I wanted to learn with my child. I hoped this would give her an empathic perspective and understanding for when I leave her to blunder in the future. We agreed that when she refuses help, it means she’s accepting the responsibility of being on her own.