One way to prepare your child for a satisfying and successful life is by helping them take on increasing levels of age-appropriate responsibility for taking care of themselves and contributing to the household.
According to Janet Lehman, MSW, who specializes in child behavior issues, all children want and need to be given tasks and chores. Successfully completing valuable work feeds a child’s sense of mastery and self-esteem, especially if they’re praised for doing it well—or sometimes for doing it at all! Taking on increasingly more demanding tasks prepares them to become competent and self-confident adults.
Lehman suggests explaining to your child that the family is a team, and that everyone in the family has an important role to play in the team’s success. The adults bring in the money to support the family and also do most of the work to create and maintain a home. As children, their job is to go to school and do their homework and to help take care of their home.
Your aim should be to act as a teacher, coach and support person for your child rather than a rigid taskmaster on the one hand or an over-indulgent parent on the other who doesn’t ask enough from their child and as a result deprives them of important growth and learning opportunities.
It’s also important to assign tasks that are appropriate for the child’s age, disposition, skills and preferences. Here are some examples of age-appropriate tasks.
How else can you help your child succeed at taking on responsibilities? Ms. Lehman has many good suggestions, which you can read about here.
Helping your child to be successful is the primary goal. So choose a task they can realistically perform and teach them exactly what they need to do and how to do it. Then reward them with praise and appreciation for their efforts.
If your child fails to follow through, treat it as a problem-solving situation rather than a failure. Maybe the chore needs to be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps. If they forget to do their chore, try tying it to something that’s already part of their daily schedule, like their after-school snack. If they find they just don’t like doing the chore, as long as it isn’t vital (like getting up and getting ready for school), let them do a different chore.
When you problem-solve rather than criticize or blame, you’re teaching your child self-acceptance as well as problem-solving.
Although some resistance comes up for most of us when we think of “chores,” it’s important to convey to your child that doing chores can be grounding, satisfying and even fun. One little girl we know loves to fold laundry and will seek out any opportunity to do so! She does it with great care, precision and efficiency and is very proud of her laundry-folding skill. By your own attitude, you can teach children to respect work and find satisfaction in a job well done.
Children also need to learn how to take responsibility for their own health by getting enough exercise, eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and staying away from sugar and processed food.
And every child today should supplement with essential fatty acids and a superior multi vitamin/mineral.
Although about one-third of American children are now taking supplements, most children’s multis are cheaply made with ineffective, inferior and even toxic ingredients.
At Beyond Health, we treat children and their health with the respect they deserve and supply a Kids Mega Multi that is vastly superior to standard children’s multis. Every bit as well-engineered as our famous adult multi, our Kids Mega Multi is specifically formulated to provide just enough, but not too much, of each essential vitamin and mineral needed by a growing child along with a variety of some of the most beneficial herbal ingredients known for added antioxidant and detoxification protection.
Children’s small bodies are more vulnerable to toxins, and detoxification pathways may be as yet undeveloped, so it’s especially important that a children’s multi be free from toxins. Our Kids Mega Multi is free of the toxic ingredients found in most other children’s multis, such as sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, coloring and other chemical additives. It’s also free of the common allergens: wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy and dairy.
AND it tastes great! Although no sugar or artificial sweeteners are used, a low-glycemic combination of mannitol, FOS, xylitol (in a therapeutic amount sufficient to fight cavities!), natural fruit flavors, and stevia leaf extract makes it so sweet and yummy that one mother we know has to hide her 4-year-old son’s multis as he will eat as many as he can get his hands on!
This chewable multi can be given to any child old enough to chew (if swallowed whole, it could get caught in a small throat) or mashed into a powder and mixed with food for younger children. At around age 11, if the child weighs over 60 pounds, they can start taking one Beyond Health adult multi a day. At 14-16 and at least 120 pounds, they can go up to the adult dose of two a day, preferably with food.
May you and your children thrive and prosper!
- Lehman J. Kids, chores and responsibilities: 5 questions to help them get on track. Empoweringpar ents.com, accessed August 25, 2022.
- Davis L. 10 kid-friendly chores that can help teach new skills. Gohenry.com, May 3, 2022.
- BH Staff. Children and essential fatty acids. beyondhealth.com blog, May 24, 2022.
- Stierman B. Dietary supplement use in children & adolescents aged ≤19 Years — United States, 2017–2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 2020; 59(43):1557-1562.