Parenting Coach

Your Guide to Better Parenting

How can we make our child see the importance of helping/contributing?

There are times when we see our child trying to help us with the house chores and/or asking to help in what we do.

And, in most instances, we, as parents tell our child to just go and play with her/his toys because: 1. we do not have the time,energy or patience to have her/him assist in the task 2. because the way she/he would do the task, would, in effect, give us more things to do after like cleaning more things or arranging the clothes in a neater way.

Children are children- they are not adults. When we were a child, we had to stumble and fall many times, in order to finally learn to walk properly. We had to be assisted and guided on many occasions and it took a lot of time, patience an energy from our own parents to get us to where we are today.

Perhaps those times have not been as fast paced as they are now. Perhaps money was not as necessary as they are today, and our parents did not have to work as much as they do now.

But, how do we make our child see the importance of contributing and helping? 1. By believing that she/he can be contributory to our needs and demands. 2. By giving  the same kind of love and patience that we were priviledged with, in order to learn. 3. By understanding and envisioning that it may be difficult now, but it will make life much easier for us in the end. 4. By giving her/him the same opportunities to make mistakes, make the mess, regularly fold the clothes until she/he has finally learned to really make it in the same way that we would want the clothes to be. 5. By seeing the beauty in her/his creativity instead of seeing it as added work for us.

Our tone of voice and our belief in our child will set the tone for cooperation.

For younger children, it is the fun of matching socks, sorting out colors, putting clothes in the hamper.

Allowing our child to help us with the chores gives her/him the opportunity to be contributory, gives her/him the confidence and happiness of being creative. This also allows her/him to see the connection between task, benefits and consequences.

A good example would be to ask your child what she/he thinks if she/he forgot to put the ice cream in the freezer? Or what would happen if the dishes were not washed or the food was left on the table overnight?

How do you reinforce the message of task and consequence? In the book,”Loving without Spoiling” by Nancy Samalin, she states,” Don’t keep repeating your order. Ask once and make the consequence plain.”

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