We have decided unless she is just going to make a huge mess, or do something that is dangerous to her, it is not worth fighting her over.
Yesterday, after fighting with her, (she has a very strong will and I love that about her) about food, toys, where she is allowed to crawl, etc..., when she wanted to help unload the dishwasher, whatever. Yes, I could have easily shut the dishawaher door (lid, front...what is that called!!?) and told her no, but it really wasn't a big deal to me.
"Mom, I'm over here about to throw everything out of the dishwasher...."
I could have easily told her no, set boundries that "You do not play in the dishwasher," closed the lid (door, front, I still don't know what it's called), and went along our way. Instead, she explored for about 20 minutes, and crusied along the entire bottom rack...and crusing is something she has not done before helping with the dishwasher. Not only did she have a blast doing this, she cruised!
I was so excited about her skill, I was praising her and clapping.
That smile makes it all worth it. Even if every dish ended up in the floor.
Her smile is priceless.