Helping kids learn to be helpers,
I recently read on another blog in the comments, about how kids with stay at home moms tend to not be able to do things for themselves. While this may be true in some cases but I have not found it to be true with my friends or with myself.
I at a young age was taught to do most jobs around the house that I could manage. My kids help each cleaning day with cleaning around the house. They are learning to cook along side of me. They are also learning to help without being asked. Which is such a blessing to a mom.
When I think about how did my kids learn to do all the things they know how to do around the house? The simple answer is I let them learn alongside of me. Sure I could have just let them play while I did the cleaning or the cooking or the laundry. But instead I had and have them help.
I have them help with all of the chores and we do them together. I also look after the kids are done and point out areas they need to work on better and let them know how to improve. But I also tell them what a great job they did on other things that they did very well. The other thing I always try to do when they help me is to thank them.
Yes, I thank them for their help. Why do I do thank them? Because I want them to know how much I value their help. I think as parents we often expect certain behavior or help from our kids but we are slower in giving praise or thanks to them. At least I know I can do be slow to give praise and thanks at times. I am trying to change to always thanking and praising my kids whenever I can. Growing up I had chores to do and I was expected to do them. Which is right, each person in the family needs to contribute. But I was never told thank you and it really did bother me.
I also have found by telling my son thank you when he has had a good day of following my instruction or being very well-behaved he is just so full of joy. He will get a big smile and you can just see the joy in his eyes. I know it is easy to just tell the kids not to do this or that. It is also important to acknowledge when they are behaving well or have done something well or right. This balance I believe is such a good approach.
Do you give your kids praise when they have done something well? Do you thank them for their help? Just something to think about.