Can I Help?

Children love to help, and when they see us doing our tasks they often ask, “Can I help?” It is so important for children to learn the value of work in their home. Children need to be taught to work as soon as they are able to understand simple instructions. Of course the job should be matched to the child’s age level. As soon as little ones understand simple instructions they should be taught to make their beds, pick up their toys and do other small jobs.

Parents often feel it would be easier to just do the job themselves, which is probably true, but children need training and although it may seem a sacrifice at first, the rewards will be great in the long run.

When our children were young my husband decided to build a root cellar. I really think his purpose was more training our boys to work than having a storage area for fruits and vegetables. The boys and Dad had to dig for days and days and when the root cellar was done the whole family was proud of the ones who did the work, and so were they! They proudly showed their friends the finished product.

Little children love to help and respond well to their chores, especially when Mom or Dad work with them. They soon learn to do their small tasks by themselves. They will graduate to harder jobs as they get older. Jobs such as emptying the dishwasher and helping with kitchen clean up or feeding the dog can be introduced as their abilities increase. By the age of ten years old children should be accomplished in many jobs around the house. By their teens they will be capable of most, if not all, household chores.

I remember when we had many children at home that we had a game we would play when the door-bell rang. All the children would jump up, go to the front room, and pick up as many items as they could carry and run to put them away. When I would answer the door, the front room would be fairly neat.

When our son was fourteen years old he was watching Dad fix the brakes on the car. He asked if he could help. So Dad showed him how to do the job, allowing him to do the work. He was able to complete the whole job and when his sister came home from college needing her brakes done he offered to do them. She was surprised. Then she asked her fourteen-year-old brother to teach her how to do her own brakes.

It is so satisfying seeing our children doing their jobs willingly and ably. Parents need to be committed to investing in the training of their children. The end result is definitely worth all the effort.

Photos from and Used with permission.

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