My kids LOVE to help! Sometimes a bit too much. They love to show their skills, and participate in whatever it is that I’m doing.
I’ll be honest, there are many days it would be easier to just send them off to play (and there are days that I do), but I know they learn so many skills when they help out with day to day chores and activities.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s great to let your kids help you:
- It helps their self concept. When children feel confident in their skills, they have a positive self concept, they see themselves as important, valued, and competent.
- Helping teaches them routines, and skills. Children that help from a young age, tend to be more equipped to handle life on their own when the time comes. It’s not something we like to think about when they are young, but it is inevitable.
- Builds memories. We have made our fair share of memories that revolve around the kids helping out.
- They get to try new experiences. Baking cookies today? Let them crack the eggs! Touching up some paint? Let them hold the paint brush and help you. Ordinary, every day experiences, can be extraordinary experiences for our children.
- They get to be with you. Children long for our connection, they want to be close to us, be like us, act like us, do everything we do. When they feel included in everyday activities their need to feel connected to you is fulfilled.
But what if my children don’t want to help? Start by asking them if they would like to help with a project. “Mommy is going to bake some muffins, do you want to help me?” if you start with the fun projects like baking, they’ll be more inclined to help.
Keep the experience happy and fun! The more excited we are that they are helping, and express that appreciation, the more likely they are to continue to help. “I’m so happy you helped mommy put the laundry in the washer, thank you!”
Soon children will start asking to help! Mr. L LOVES to cook. He’s four, and helps me cook on the stove. Almost every chance he gets (and dependent on what’s cooking) he will ask “Mommy can I help you?” Now there are times when he can’t help because of safety, so when that happens I usually say along the lines of “I’m so happy you love to help mommy, but this is something mommy needs to do because it may hurt you. I’ll let you know when I need your help!” It shows my appreciation for his help, explains why he can’t do it, and offers another opportunity to help in the future.