Do it yourself - Nov 2015

Show 'em How to Help

As children grow and develop, they need and crave the help of caring adults. As babies, parents change diapers, rock to sleep, and give bottles. As they grow up, even though they still need your guidance, children begin to gain independence and can become empowered if they are allowed to start helping you.  The season of giving is a perfect time to allow your child to give back to the family!  As your child helps you out, not only will he learn new skills, but you can avoid unwanted negative behaviors by keeping your child busy.  This can be done easily using a technique called, Show How to Help.

When getting ready in the morning, instead of becoming flustered as you get your child ready for school and yourself ready for work, show her how to help by asking for help clearing the breakfast table or picking out her outfit. Depending on their age, the task might be minor, like holding something for you or finding your keys. If they are older, the tasks can be more complicated and even include assisting siblings. Here are some other ideas of how to use the technique Show How to Help:

Getting in the car→“Can you help me out please by going ahead of me and opening the back door so I can get your sister in and buckled? While you are waiting let me see you buckle yourself in too.”

Doing homework→“While I am reading the directions on your homework sheet, can you please help me out by emptying your lunchbox and putting it away?”

Preparing dinner→“While I am cooking dinner it would be a great help if you counted out some napkins and folded them on the table.”

In the grocery store →“While we are in the store can you please be in charge of holding my purse for me so I can use both my hands to shop?”

Having a private conversation with another adult →“Will you please take this laundry basket upstairs? That would be a huge help.”

As you can see, using this tip can be as simple or complex as you wish. Showing your children how to help enables them to engage in something that might be helpful to you, keep them preoccupied, and gives them a sense of importance and pride. Don’t be helpless and overwhelmed during this busy time of year.  Teach your children how to help throughout the season and all year long.