is a stay at home mom of 3 young children and a former grade school teacher. She knows a thing or two about how to help kids get organized and take responsibility for themselves and their belongings. Watch Episode 166 now
She also recently founded Happy Helperz
to produce a new line of educational learning tools that facilitate kids helping out (a placemat, backpack tags and toy box organizer labels).
Teaching kids how to be responsible, independent, and well organized, ultimately makes them feel confidant, empowered, valued, and happy in their world - it also makes them more considerate people. Whether you're a working parent or a stay at home mum, feeling guilty, time crunched and exhausted may mean you don't have the patience to teach the kids helpful skills or to enforce the rules, but Heidi feels it is an important investment in them and their future - and a key to your quality of life.
In the end this is good for everyone's self esteem and family dynamics. Heidi believes that if you raise your expectations, your children will rise to meet them. Children will take great pride and delight in their new skill and they thrive when there is a sense of order.
It is so important to recognize that in the long term, kids who help out at home with duties and responsibilities become better students, more likeable classmates, team players, more considerate partners, and generally are better able to fit into social, academic and work situations. Teaching kids to help out develops their social skills.
The whole concept of helping and being part of the way the home works is a way of teaching them values. And down the road, great social skills are what makes one person stand out from another equally qualified person when it comes to just about any situation, including the workplace!
Set them up for success, allow enough time to teach them their new task, be patient, let them practice and have realistic expectations - and have some fun along the way. If a little incentive
seems like a good idea, remember, it doesn't have to be monetary. It could be spending time together baking a treat, a later bedtime, or a friend sleeping over.Children as young as two years old can help out.
· 2 yr olds
- can do things like sorting socks in the laundry basket - either by size, colour (or both).
· 3 yr olds
- can set the table put their dirty clothes in the laundry bin; and clear their dirty plates from the table.
· 4 yr olds
- can make their beds, help wash dishes.
· 5 yr olds
- can help fold and put laundry away, and can pack their own knapsack for school. (Heidi has developed a product called the "Backpack Buddy" that has 'tiles' that act as a reminder for kids about what is going to school and what's coming back)
· 6 yr olds
- can start taking out the garbage.
· 7 yr olds
(obviously should be participating in all of the aforementioned jobs) and can also wash dishes, load the dishwasher.
· 10 - 12 yrs old
- can do laundry, load the dishwasher, dry pots and pans, help with meal preparation.
· 13 - 15 yrs old
- babysit (of course), simple cooking, do errands to the corner store (pick-up milk, etc.), wash dishes by hand, fold and put away laundry