How to Teach Your Kids to Help
As a parent, one of the most important responsibilities you have to your children is to teach them life skills. One skill every child needs to know is how to be helpful to others. This is a tiny stepping stone towards them learning how to be self-sufficient and help out with chores as they grow up. If you don't start with them when they are young, it is a lot more difficult to get them to help when they are older, too. Here are some ways to teach your kids to help around the house.
Get Them To Help
Step 1: Lead by example. When your children see you being helpful, they learn more from that than if you only preach at them about helping out. There's a saying that's old, but true, "What you're doing is so loud I can't hear what you're saying to me." Your children will follow your lead. Show them how to be helpful. Chances are, they'll start picking up your good habits.
Step 2: Create positive reinforcements. Lots of parents might balk at the idea of rewarding your child for good behavior. While it is recommended that you not go overboard with gift-giving, it also isn't a bad idea to set up some positive reinforcements for your child helping out. This will give them an incentive to help when they need it.
Step 3: Create a weekly "helper" list. Write a quick list of things the whole family can help out with, like yard work, dish washing, and folding laundry. Then assign each member a task or two for the week. Make it fun by switching up the task list every week. You can also make it more fun by creating a game, where each person chooses a number on a dice, then roll the dice and assign tasks this way.
Bonus Tip: Kids will be more willing to help when they're having fun, or earning a reward.
It's tried and proven that kids are more anxious to be helpful when they experience the work as "fun" or when they are working towards a prize. You'll have an easier time teaching your kids to help when they think they're playing instead of working.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Hope Wilbanks