By Deanna Mascle
The other day was a busy one at our house. Several rooms
tidying, vacuuming, and dusting. Several errands needed to be
run. Food needed to be prepared. My 4-year-old and I got
through it all as a team. I straightened while he returned
items to the proper place. We both dusted, vacuumed, and
the dishwasher. He tidied his arts and crafts and wiped down
table and counters while I handwashed the remaining dishes. At
the post office Noah mailed our package off. At the pharmacy
collected a prescription. At the grocery store he helped
various items on our list and transfer our intended purchases
from the cart onto the conveyor belt. When we returned home he
helped measure ingredients for spaghetti sauce and then add
them to the crockpot. Then he helped mix and shape cookie
How much does your child help at home? If the answer is "not
much" then you might want to rethink that choice. Children as
young as 2 can be a help and certainly by the age of 4 can
on many simple tasks. There are several reasons why you should
enlist your little helpers.
1. It gives you more time together. The one regret every
expresses is the wish for more time with their children. Why
make the most of all those taks you have to do and share them.
2. It teaches your child to be a good citizen. Most of the
my son is eager to help, but sometimes he'd rather do
else. However I remind him that being a part of our family
brings responsibilities as well as privileges.
3. It teaches life skills. My child can prepare his own
breakfast, load the dishes into the dishwasher, and then clear
the table and floor when he is done. He can dress himself and
put his pajamas away.He is not fully independent and certainly
requires supervision, but he can take care of himself in many
ways. I am proud as he masters each new skill because I know I
am raising a person, not a child, who will eventually need to
take care of himself.
4. It teaches important lessons. Our various tasks during the
day involve reading, counting, math, and shapes, to name just
few essential skills. In addition, my son is learning to
and follow instructions. The acquisition of all these skills
will help in school and in life.
5. It is more fun. I loathe cleaning, but when I clean with my
son wemake it more fun with games, songs, dances, and jokes.
Just about everything is more fun with help and the only thing
more depressing than cleaning (to me anyway) is cleaning
6. The TV is off. We all know our children watch too much TV
and we are all the more likely to let them watch when we are
focused on sometask. If they are involved with helping then
that is that much less TV watching they will do that day.
7. You are creating a good habit. As children grow older they
are much more able to help, but they are also much less likely
to want to help -- especially if they haven't been required to
before. If you get your children started young when they want
to help then you can make helping a good habit.
There are a number of advantages to encouraging your children
to help. Sure in the early years it will take more time to
accomplish tasks with help than it would if you did them
but in the end the long-term benefits will make it well
About The Author: Deanna Mascle shares other family articles
officialfamily.us and answersforyourfamily.com .