It can be scary to give them the control. To let them make the decisions, even when you know if they "just did it my way" things would be easier or come out better. Letting go and accepting that no matter how it comes out, unless they ASK for help, I am going to let them fail (or more likely) succeed completely on their own is nerve wracking.
But children also need a chance to prove they are capable and responsible. It is only when you let them do something for themselves, that they really gain confidence in their own abilities.
As my kids get older, I have to face the fact they will need me less and less. It is my job to teach them how to do something, so I will no longer have to do it for them. The goal is for them to go out into the world capable and confident. It doesn't matter if it is riding a bike or doing a project at Home Depot, I want them to believe in themselves and at least try their best. They don't have to be afraid.
Sometimes I help build their confidence by involving or featuring them in one of my DIY projects, but today I found another opportunity.. in the form of CAKE.
We went to the store and picked out a boxed strawberry cake mix and tub of pre-made white frosting (her choices) and came back home and started baking.
She did a great job piping the edges and drew a flower in the center:
At this point I thought she did a great job. Heck, I have seen a LOT worse on CakeWrecks (at least her flower is edible). Of course, she wanted more! You did see those cupcakes didn't you?
So she painstakingly sorted pink and yellow decorating chips and added them to every.single.piped flower.
Talk about persistence! I never would have taken the time to do that.
A few more sprinkles just for good measure:
And of course.. if you look closely you can see her initial just to the top of the flower (every artist must sign their work!)
Is it the cake I would have chosen to make? No.
Is it still beautiful and wonderful? Of course.
I admit I was surprised (and impressed) by how little help she needed. My fears were all unfounded. My little girl is growing up and I have to give her more chances to prove it to me, and to herself.
I am not sure who learned more with the experience: My 7 year old, who now knows just a little bit more about baking a cake..