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Helping with Everyday Chores

Helping grownups with household tasks is one way that children can feel useful and important. When we encourage children to work along with us in our daily chores we help them realize how many things they can accomplish.

Making Work Play

Friends of ours visited a relative’s home for dinner with their five-year-old son. At the end of the meal, the hostess asked the boy if he’d like to help with the cleanup. Seeing him hold back, she tried a novel approach. She bowed to him and in a royal voice offered him a “throne” of a high stool to sit on, a robe of a towel draped around him and proclaimed him “King of the Silverware.” Our friends were surprised to hear their son giggle as he stepped up on the stool to start washing the silverware. As they cleaned up the counter around him, they saw him laugh with delight at the soap bubbles that floated off in the water to pop and vanish. It probably took longer that day for the silverware to be washed and dried, but everyone was involved in the clean-up and enjoyed it more because they were doing it together.

Good Feelings of Doing a Job that’s Helpful

Not only was the boy having some fun, he was feeling helpful. What a good feeling that is, especially for young children! Most of the time young children hear from us what they can’t do. They realize that they need a lot of help from us for most things. It’s especially important that they also know we value what they can do. They can be helpers, too.

Helping has two sides — asking for help and giving help. Whether we’re young or old, helping can enrich both the receiver and the giver.

Produced by: Support from:
Fred Rogers Productions logo Corporation for Public Broadcasting logo Rite Aid Foundation “529 “Vroom”

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