Children dont help When parents look at a newborn baby cuddled in their arms, a feeling of protectiveness usually overwhelms them. They want to do everything possible to make their child happy and comfortable. As the years go by, the baby grows up, but parents tend to underestimate the capabilities of young children and continue to do things for them without expecting anything in return. Then one
When parents look at a newborn baby cuddled in their arms, a feeling of protectiveness usually overwhelms them. They want to do everything possible to make their child happy and comfortable. As the years go by, the baby grows up, but parents tend to underestimate the capabilities of young children and continue to do things for them without expecting anything in return. Then one day, they wake up and decide it's time their children pitch in and are surprised when they are met with resistance. After years of having their parents pamper them, it comes as a rude shock to children that they're actually expected to pull their weight in the house.
Megha Chatterjee says that she is
tired of feeling like a slave to her children. "While I don't expect my
children to do household work, I do think that they must learn to look
after their own things. They shouldn't assume it's my job to pick up after
Catch them young
Doing chores gives children a sense
of responsibility, teaches them cooperation and involves them in family
life. The sooner parents give their children age-appropriate responsibility
the better. Parents can slowly increase the difficulties of the task and
their expectations depending on the maturity of the child. Two- and three-year
olds love to help as it gives them a feeling of being in control. At this
age they think it is great fun to be entrusted with any tasks and view
them as a challenge. Parents should give children this age responsibilities
such as: picking up their toys, choosing their own clothes, helping in
brushing their hair, washing their hands and face, etc.
Sometimes when a three-year-old is
trying to help, he can create even more work for the parent. In such cases,
parents often become impatient and take over, doing the task themselves.
This only serves to discourage the toddler from "helping." Parents need
to be tolerant and ask their children to help when they have the time and
the patience to put up with a little hindrance. In addition, they should
make sure that the tasks assigned should be within the child's capabilities
so that the child will feel a sense of accomplishment.
are less cooperative
As children get older, they are less likely to be cooperative when it comes to chores. Lata Srinivasan complains, "My children don't lift a finger to help around the house. They think that the housework is done by magic. Every time I ask them to do something they complain or act like they're doing me a big favour."
Faced with a young child who is refusing
to do a task assigned to him, parents have a tendency to get exasperated
and tell him that he is excused this time. However, when parents do this,
they defeat the whole purpose of trying to inculcate a sense of responsibility
in their child as they are giving him the message that it is all right
not to do his chores if he doesn't feel like.
How to make your
child pitch in
Make a list of all the chores your child
can do and let her pick the ones she would like to do. Then make a weekly
chart showing what chores she must do on each day of the week.
Do not assume that your child knows
how to do what is expected. Take a little time out to teach her.
Abandon any perfectionist tendencies.
Compliment her on her efforts and rectify any mistakes in her absence.
Check to see that each task has been
The schedule of chores should not be
rigid. Take time out to play with the child, show your appreciation and
affection. The chores will not seem like drudgery then. In addition, allow
the child a little flexibility in his routine.
Do not bribe or pay your child for doing
Your child will start by being
a "perfect little helper" to an able and responsible adult. Who would
have thought that just teaching children to help you is actually helping
them in the long run!
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- The Indiaparenting Team