Have you ever gotten to the point where you are so sick of fighting with your kids about helping out around the house that you have just given up? You try doing everything – cleaning, meal prep, dishes, picking up, laundry, etc. etc. etc. But inside, you are seething with frustration!
If you are wondering how to raise a helpful child (or if it is even possible to raise helpful kids) then the good news is that there are ways that you can teach your kids to be helpful. These techniques will train your children to want to be helpers!
Model Helpful Behavior for Your Kids
One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to model helpful behavior. When your children see you helping strangers as well as family and friends, they learn to be helpful as well.
Make a point of helping people and then letting your children know why you did it. You can talk about how good it feels to be helpful and how it makes you a kind person and lets your friends appreciate you more because you are so helpful.
Start a Policy of if You Make a Mess, You Clean it Up
It is important to have some family rules in place if you want to raise helpful kids. Implementing a rule that kids have to pick up any mess that they create is an important one!
This rule helps kids learn personal responsibility. It also trains them to pick up after themselves which creates so much less work for everyone when messes are cleaned up right away.
You can start this rule early in your kids’ lives. If you have toddlers, have them clean up messes with your help. As your children get older they will be able to clean up more independently.
Don’t be afraid to have kids re-do a clean-up job that isn’t completely done. You want your children to learn to be good helpers – not just learning to go through the motions!
Create a Family Value of Everyone Pitching In
This is also a helpful family rule. Make sure that you have multiple scenarios where the whole family pitches in to help. You can do this on daily/weekly tasks such as picking up the house, cleaning the house, putting away groceries, cooking, etc.
You can also throw in one-time pitch-in events like a yard clean-up day or a special service project like cleaning up trash at a park or spreading mulch at a church or non-profit.
Implement a Self-Led Chore Chart
One great way to get your children to help out with chores is to create a self-led chore chart. This allows them to gain responsibility but also learn how to prioritize their time and create discipline.
There are lots of different ways to do self-led chore charts. I have used a spinner chore chart in the past. My kids had a lot of fun with this idea and it worked really well for when I had just the two of them.
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This year I am trying out this new style of self-led chore chart that I saw on LemonSqueezyHome.com where each kid has 6 different chores. Each day they can choose which chore(s) to do and when to do it. Once they complete it, the chore gets moved to the “Done” column. If they complete all of their chores, they get Sunday off. If they haven’t completed their chores, then they get to help me clean the house on Sunday.
Encourage Kids to Help Their Siblings
Another great way to raise helpful children is to encourage your kids to help their siblings. Some fun and easy ways to do this are:
- chore swaps
- have your kids help each other clean their bedrooms
- do homework time together so that they can help each other out
- have kids make snacks for each other
- do random acts of kindness for each other (check out this article on teaching your kids to be kind to learn more about this!)
Use a Helping Jar to Reward Helpful Behavior
I love the idea of a helping jar. This is a jar or container that you place a coin, pompom, or other small token in each time you see someone being helpful. Using this system helps you positively reinforce helpful behavior and encourages your kids to cheer each other on when they are helpful.
It is also important to note that if you are trying to raise helpful kids, you need to be consistent. Teaching your children to be helpful can be a long process that requires many different tactics and consistency/focus for an extended length of time.
Raising Helpful Children
In conclusion, if you are wondering how to raise a helpful child, there are so many great ways to raise helpful kids! The best options are modeling helpful behavior, setting family rules and values around helping others, having your children learn to do chores, rewarding their positive efforts, and being consistent in your goal to raise helpful kids.
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Sending You Love and Light,