Tag Archives: helping

Manners: What’s Important to You as a Parent?

As parents we have our make or break topics. One of mine is manners. My kid doesn’t have to be the smartest in their class, they don’t have to be the best player on their team, but by golly they better have the best manners wherever they go.

I try to model good behavior. I say please, thank you, you’re welcome, etc. I smile when I speak to someone. I try not to be mean to customer service people, and if I see someone in need of help (a door that could be opened, a hand that can be offered, I do my best). I want my children to do the same. The world is such a large and busy place, but with just a smile, and a little politeness it doesn’t seem quite so frightening. Now I am not expecting my children to help a stranger, they know there are limits because of safety. However, when they see a teacher at school struggling with their books opening the classroom door, or a fellow student unable to zip their backpack, I have noticed them helping. What warms my heart the most? When they help their siblings, without being prompted.

So what is so great about manners? They aren’t much when you think in the grand scheme of things. But we have all seen those commercials where one small good deed sets of a string of good deeds, that can eventually change someone’s entire day, or their entire life. It is the small things that make the big things happen. So I try very hard to incorporate manners in to my life, and my children’s lives.

Manners are simple little things to add in to our daily lives, so take a look at some of the ways manners are described by KidsTime. Do you have any manners you and your family practice that you think should be added? 

Little Chefs: Chores in the Kitchen

We have little chefs in our house. Our oldest thinks that overtime someone is cooking she must be in there helping. Everyone loves to cook. I must be a family trait. We learned early on that including our kids in the food prep and cleanup that they seemed more interested in eating the food. So we tried not to discourage them from helping in the kitchen. But when they were little it could be difficult to decide how much they were allowed to help. That was when we decided to let them to small things, like help stir, set the table, take their plate to the kitchen, wash the produce, etc.

How much your kid can help with is really dependent upon their maturity level and skill level. If your kid understands things like sharp objects, cleanliness, and can handle carrying things without dropping them you might decide that they are ready to take on more in the kitchen. It is all relative.

If you aren’t quite sure what your child can handle try letting them try something with supervision. Start small, and build up. Buy some small plastic tools to let them use. We sometimes let our four year old cut things with a small plastic butter knife. But only with supervision and only soft things like berries and bread or dough.

Here is a simple little chart that can help you decide what chores are appropriate for your child. But always take in to account the ability level of your child. And please, always use supervision in the kitchen.

44ea81ffe68f450ab5a883f705c5ee6e

The Great Chore Debate

We have discussed chores on this blog before. Many parents agree that you need to give children chores in order to help them understand responsibility. Others say it is not a good idea to force kids to participate in household chores. We recently had a new baby in our family. We expected that mommy and daddy would have a lot more work after this new addition. We were surprised that our older child, age 4, stepped up to help out in the house with the new baby’s arrival.

We have always had small chores our 4 year old helped with like feeding the dogs, making the bed, setting the table. Now our 4 year old is even helping with he baby. Watching the baby while mommy and daddy get dinner ready, or get the bath ready. Bringing the baby toys, blankets, diapers, etc when they need them. Helping has become one of the ways our 4 year old expresses their love for the new baby. It is also a way to show us that they are a big kid now. We hear all day long, “I help because I’m not a baby, so I can help the baby.” We never considered the fact that they would want to help, and that it would be a sign of independence for them. They are very proud to be able to help now. So everyday we add a little more to their list of things they can help with. As long as they are comfortable with doing something and it is safe for them to do we have decided to let them try. What do you do in your household when a child starts to show an interest in helping out?