There’s a certain time of year when I hunger for a tea party. Christmas is over and the extra decorations have been put away. There are signs of Spring but we still get days full of dreary weather; rain and wind. It’s about this time of year when I absolutely need to pull out some pretty china, decorate the table and fill it with goodies. I haven’t actually done the work of hosting a tea party for many years, though, because my oh-so-capable girls have been avid party planners since they could toddle.

It occurred to me recently that there are long term benefits of lazy mothering; that is, letting children do the work of planning special events:

1) They develop all sorts of skills. Their writing improves because when they begin telling me what they need from the store, I immediately tell them to make a list.

2) They experience the work involved in having fun…and they appreciate the fun more!

3) They get firsthand experience in trying out creative ideas. Some work and some don’t…you never know until you try!

4) They get the pride of  planning and making the food and having others enjoy and compliment them for it. Fun!

5) They get practice in being a good hostess; from the invitation to welcoming guests in the door to saying goodbye and please come again. A great way to learn life skills!

6) They really truly do lift the work load off my shoulders. I like parties but our family has ten birthday celebrations a year (yes, we don’t always have a full party but we celebrate…and that takes time as well!) so sometimes “fun” seems a bit dis”fun”ctional.

7) They learn what they’re good at and what they may need to improve in. Cooking? Maybe. Decorating? Sometimes…  planning games and making everyone feel welcome?…something we can all improve in.

So have a tea party!