Let Them Help!

Photo Jan 14 5 40 38 PM     Children are naturally curious and have a craving to learn things they see. Simple tasks that we do around the house becomes a source of intrigue and often children end up playing “house” sort of speak. But why not use this curiosity to teach them from a young age how to do daily activities that will assist them as grown-ups? Many young adults head off to college not knowing how to do their own laundry, make their bed or keep track of their finances. These are all activities that are common in the house hold. Yet, parents are usually so busy making it work that they prefer to do these activities themselves instead of soliciting the child’s help. But this is actually great and organic opportunities for children to learn various subjects that relate to daily living.

    When cooking, children can help little by little as they grow. The more their coordination improves the more they can be trusted with more difficult activities. Cooking involve many subject that will be reoccurring in daily life. They can learn math when following recipes or having to measure anything, they can learn science as they witness ingredients changing form before their eyes. Health and nutrition can be learned by explaining the whys of the foods we eat. And even artistic expression can be worked into kids helping in the kitchen, as they can get creative with what they choose to put on the plate and how they place the ingredients.

    Finances is also a very good one. When you take your children to the grocery store allow them to help you shop. If they ask you for an item, have them work out which would be the most economical, which gets you the most bang for your buck, how many items can you get with a certain amount of money, how to choose an item based on the ingredients, how to pay, how packaging gets our attention…. The lessons are endless. When shopping in general, business practices that we take for granted are great lessons for kids to learn. Things like why in the dairy section always at the back of the store, why is the signage placed the way it is, why there are small items along the checkout counter line, etc. These are things that can be talked about as you walk around the store going about your business.Photo Jan 14 4 18 24 PM

     Chores are probably the most commonly used in a household. But it doesn’t have to be a structured process if that doesn’t work for you. Having them help you do laundry once in a while or taking turns or even being responsible for their own might all be helpful ways to teach them how to do the chores and be responsible. The concept of teamwork can also be used through house duties. AT dinner time, assigning each family member with a task that they do for the whole family, gives them a sense of community. It also helps them appreciate the work that each person does when these tasks are alternated.

     Integrating your children into family life is one of the easiest teaching tools available. At the beginning, there might be more dirty dishes, or things may take longer, but eventually it will be a great help when things get done as a family unit vs as an individual serving a family.

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