Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Teaching Children to Help-- Part 1

I believe children should have plenty of time to play, have free time, and explore their interests, but I also believe children need to be taught to work. In our house, everyone--and I mean everyone-- helps out with the work that needs to be done to keep things running. But...

Why Should They Help?

1) It is necessary with a large family. We are not the largest family by far. Three children is no record, but with the family continuing to grow, I can't keep up with the entire workload. That is why I teach the children notice small things and take the initiative to get them done. Putting their dishes in the sink after breakfast and lunch is a small task, but it saves me extra steps. Putting their own dirty clothes in the hamper is not a big job, but it sure saves me the time of going through the house picking up piles of laundry. Even the littlest ones can do these task with little effort!

2) It teaches everyone to contribute to the household. Even if helping out wasn't necessary, teaching children to work makes them realize that everyone is a useful member of the family and has a part to play.

3) It teaches servanthood. Serving others is a key point of Christianity and helping around the house lays this foundation. Putting a diaper in the trashcan for Mom or helping a younger sibling put on his shirt or putting place settings on the table for all the family members enforces the concept that there are others to think about besides yourself.

4) It prepares children for the future. It is never too early to learn practical skills! It is so much easier to learn to cook while helping Mama than to start from scratch when you get married. Likewise, learning to vacuum, take out the trash, fold laundry, change the oil in the car...are all easier to learn at a young age.

5) It builds character. The habit of daily work teaches children to do without complaining. It encourages confidence, patience, satisfactions in a job well done.


  1. Couldn't agree more! I come from a family of seven kids, and my mom often said "Many hands make light work". How true it is!

  2. Wanna head start for as they get older? Read "Do Hard Things", written by teens Alex & Brett Harris. It will inspire you and help shape the types of things kids can do as they grow up.

    Great post :).

  3. Great thoughts! I felt like I was reading a magazine article... you are professional writer????

    I shall enjoy getting to know about you through your blog!

    Many blessings-

  4. No, can't say that I'm a professional! But I do love to write! :-)


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