When kids help us around the house, at school, or help others, they build resilience.
Adults can help children build their feelings of confidence, competence and usefulness, and boost their belief that they can handle challenges by encouraging our children to help others.
Promote helping behaviours and resilience within the family by identifying activities, chores, or responsibilities that are age-appropriate for your children to participate in. This may include allocating jobs to certain family members, such as setting the table, or feeding the dog, and formalising this by having it written down for everyone to refer to.
Or, helping behaviours can be encouraged on a spontaneous basis depending on the situation, e.g. “Suzy, can you please help me bring the groceries into the house?”
When children have a sense of connection with others , as described in an earlier blog, they are more likely to want to be involved in helping.
By giving our children the impression that we believe they can be useful and make a contribution, we are empowering them, promoting self-help skills, problem solving abilities, and independence, which in turn boosts resilience.
Encourage children to help others outside the family also. Brainstorm with kids ways they can be of assistance at school, at extra-curricular activities, within the community (a.g. age-appropriate volunteer work). Providing children with opportunities to help encourages a sense of responsibility and usefulness that children can tap into when they are faced with difficulties in life – the belief that I am useful and capable and can cope.