Thirdly, Michelle has a cleanup routine that she likes to do. There is a song that she sings with Faith right before they begin cleaning up the toys. Faith loves this game, as she sings together with the song. She is usually busy playing with her toys, talking to her dolls or even reading to them, when the song begins. Instantly, Faith knows what to do. She is going to cleanup her room with mommy’s help. As she is doing this, she not only learning the value of personal organization and responsibility, she is also discovering the value of a shared activity with mom.
This is a shared activity that won’t continue throughout Faith’s childhood, to be sure. Soon Faith will only need to be told to clean her room, and that will be the only prompting she will need, at least until she becomes a teenager. Nonetheless, a good habit has been established in her life, and that habit also served to strengthen a relationship. Faith may not remember, in total, this experience, but she will probably remember enough of it where the meaning will confirm to her, in some subtle way she may not even pick up on, that Michelle loved her enough to spend that time with her during cleanup time. As a working mother, who works hard every day and is tired when she gets home, Michelle resists the temptation to simply clean up the room after Faith goes to bed. This would have been much easier and far less time consuming, but wouldn’t have served the all-important relational purpose.