I absolutely LOVE Jerry Maguire. I remember watching it with my momma and crying like a baby when Renee Zellweger told Tom Cruise, “you had me at hello”. Just shut up. Oh, such good memories. I also remember when she married Kenny Chesney after he wrote that song about her. Yea, now I’m REALLY getting off subject. Today, I want to talk about ways we can teach our kids to follow in our footsteps and how we guide them along the way with helping out.
Right now we’re in the process of teaching Emma how to be a helper. It’s about team work and we’re a family that works together. We’ve tried to let Emma learn a little on her own and a little with our guidance, too. It’s wild how much she picks up all on her own without us having to do a thing. Here is what we’re starting with now. Keep in mind that Emma is 19 months old so her responsibilities change quite regularly as she’s growing up so quickly. Once she hits a steady age, we won’t add to things as often.
*Emma decided on her own one day that she wanted to help fold laundry. It started with her getting it out, piece by piece, and handing it to me to fold. Every once in awhile she would offer a sweet thank you, too. As she’s grown and let me teach her, she now knows how to unload the washer and dryer, load the washer and dryer, and press the start button. She’s still too short and not strong enough to turn it on or even open the doors once they’re closed. She has to have my help, but I’ll be honest, I’ve really enjoyed having her help, too. She is so precious shaking the clothes as she hands them my way. She even gets her feelings hurt when she doesn’t help. Too funny!
*We’re working on teaching Emma to pick up her toys. Let me chime in here and say that I have a case of OCD and have a really hard time letting someone else taking the lead, even my little girl. I like knowing that everything is clean and put away the way I want it done. I’m working to do better on allowing her to help in this process. I want her to learn how to clean up after herself and not always expect mommy or someone else to do it. So far, she’s good at putting the items away but hasn’t quite realized that we don’t need to get it back out. Ahem. One day we’ll learn, right?
*We expect Emma to follow certain requests from us and have always tried to focus on talking to her like she’s an adult. When she wants yogurt to eat, we ask her to get a spoon to go with it (she has access to all her serving items). She lets us know when she wants something and we are working hard to teach her manners, including thank you. We are helping her learn to be a girl as she grows into toddlerhood. Even the small things, like thank you, are important when taught in the right context. Emma KNOWS what thank you means and understands when and how to use it. I feel so proud of her and that she knows how important this simple phrase it.
At this point these are some of the things we’re teaching Emma. It’s so important to start teaching them young to help and do their part. I think it helps our children grow to be team players and know the value in the work that we do for them.
What are you doing to teach your kids to help out?