Monday, 15 September 2014

Encouraging helpfulness

I have been musing this recently.  At the moment I have two children, one is nearly 2 and the other is 3.5.  They have such completely different temperaments and personalities and require totally different parenting.  Sometimes things I took for granted as being "difficult" I now realise are only difficult when your child has the personality of my eldest but equally some things that were easier with her are proving more difficult with my younger girl.

One way in which my children are *completely* different is to do with helpfulness.  Clearly we want our children to be helpful but my youngest is just naturally helpful whereas my eldest really needs some help to be helpful.

I've come to the conclusion it is all about looking for opportunities, this might mean pushing yourself outside of what is easiest in the absolutely right now but hope I will reap the rewards later.

Some examples of encouraging helpfulness in my two are

N likes to help cook so here she is helping make tonight's dinner

She wanted to help make Daddy's packed lunch one day, so here she is putting some fruit in a pot for him to take to work.

M wanted to help carry home N's nursery bag

Passing me the laundry to hang on the washing line (to be honest, now that I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant this is about as helpful as it gets)

As N has got older I have tried to explain how helpful it is to just do things like getting dressed without a fuss

Other things the girls will do is put rubbish in the bin (N can even sort the recycling out for me) or put books away on the book shelf.

I try to get the girls to help tidy up each evening before bed, this is very much a work in progress and despite being much more into carrots than sticks it does sometimes only work if the threat of time out for "not listening" to my request is made.

Largely, though, my girls are good and I am happy to help them grow in this area of development.

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