How to get our children to help at home
The sooner our children start helping at home, the better. The first tasks or assignments for your children should be simple, such as: pick up toys from your room after playing, put them on the shelves or store them in the closet, order your backpack to go to school the next day, leave placed your clothes and shoes, hang your coat in place, etc.
At what age can a child begin to collaborate at home?
The example of set the table It is one of the first activities that can be performed and that contribute to the acquisition of good habits, helping to create routines to collaborate at home and thus increase their responsibilities. It can be considered as a game. The first day the parents teach him how to place things by adding a surprise that the child does not see (some flowers, candles, a drawing, etc.), having to discover it. The next day, he must set the table and add a surprise for his parents to discover.
Currently, there is a "boom" of television programs about children's cooking and also offers of workshops and courses for them. This "boom" can be used to let them enter the kitchen to help prepare meals and dishes for the whole family. It is a first step so that in addition to knowing the food, it helps them to know and have a more varied and balanced diet when they are adults.
Any learning needs a time that will depend on the personality of each child. Weekends and holidays can be used to have more time to teach them.
It is very important that they acquire daily habits. At the beginning, parents should not leave them alone, but with patience they should accompany them and help them to do the things entrusted to them.
Without going into detail in the result of what they have done, we have to positively value their actions through phrases such as: how good you have done !, have you finished ?, or through physical contact: giving them a hug, a kiss ...
Parents are a model and an example for them. At any age we will show you the benefits of being autonomous in your good behavior and that everything will work better at home if the whole family helps and participates.
What to do when the children do not want to collaborate?
When children are young they must understand that they are part of the family "team" and that everyone has to participate. One argument would be: between all we have picked up the table and so we have time to go out for a walk, to play, etc. This argument will normally be sufficient, at least in the short term.
What happens when the children are teenagers and do not want to collaborate?
It may have happened that when we were little we did not assign them tasks to do and if now we send them "rebel", arguing why now he has to do them and not before.
In a case and telling him in advance that he has to put the table and take the dog and almost always answer us with a: "I'm going". Although someday he has been punished without dinner, the anger and confrontation will be greater if we tell him that he must do it quickly, because his time and ours do not have the same value. Sometimes teenagers have a hard time understanding what adults ask of them and can interpret it as still being treated as children.
It will be important for parents to have an attitude of listening to their reasons and if their excuses are reasonable for not doing homework "now".
As another example is the case of having to deliver a job for tomorrow that you do not have prepared or study an exam, then we must negotiate with him that he must do the task entrusted to him later.
Keep in mind that for solve a conflict between parents and children, each of the parties must be willing to give their personal benefits, in order to find a common solution that benefits everyone.
Mercedes Corbellas. Psychologist and diploma in Social Work
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