Give children responsibilities; it helps them grow and they love it!

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girl_washing_dishes

There is a reservoir (well) where I stay to draw water from if there is no power supply to pump water into tanks. Great policy since it means in this period of no light, we haven’t lacked water.

Anyway, some neighbours in the compound have kids I wager are between the ages of 6 and 10. Don’t know how many of you here have seen my posts on kids and all but I love children. They also love me and harass me often but that’s not the point of this post.

About two weeks back I was drawing water when one of the kids, a boy, came by to get water too. It isn’t unusual for kids that young in Nigeria to start shouldering responsibility and help with domestic work like fetching water but I was scared. I didn’t care how long he may have been doing this, I took one look at that small body of his and I cringed.

I filled his bucket for him and he went home grateful. He was shocked at first when I began drawing water up for him but he calmed down and left happily. It happened twice more and then I had to stop and get inside to rest. I didn’t know he had taken this deeply to heart.

Fetching water from a well

This morning, I had to go and get water again and aching as I was I lurched over to the place and saw him there with his sister. I got there just as he was finishing his own water run, put down my bucket and was reaching for the one used to draw water when he dropped it back in the well and drew some up for me.

I was shocked. I tried to stop him but I saw the determined look his eyes and held myself back.
The lad wanted to pay me back.
He NEEDED to do it.
I let him but I stayed very near because I was still scared for him. I get very uncomfortable seeing them that close to a deep hole. I made sure I was within reach to snatch him…just in case, but I left him to it.

You need to have seen the look of pride on is face when he he was done! He was all teeth and I had to laugh.

Parents, there will be times your kids will want to do something to help or prove they are grown. They love the responsibility. Don’t always rush to tell them they have nothing to prove or they shouldn’t worry about it. Sometimes let them and stay close by. It boosts their confidence in a big way.

Helping clear the dishes even when they’re small, picking up that cloth, pushing or even carrying the stool heavier than they are. I’m not saying let them endanger themselves. Stay very close by and even assist but let them see themselves doing the work. It works wonders for them and they’ll want to do more. It’ll also help you bond with them.

I have another example of a mum I saw in my church months ago whose son wanted to help her get chairs for the family to sit. This boy couldn’t be more than six and the chairs were big and heavy.

She let him grab hold and then she held the top of the chairs he took, so she was the one doing the work but he sure was feeling himself as a big helper.

When it was all done she hugged the little man and praised him for his strength. This method is also a great way to get them into chores early, so they don’t start avoiding it as they get older. That’s gist for another day sha.

One other thing to note.

Wasn’t it really awesome that a little kid wanted to pay me back for my own kindness to him? Whenever he and his kid sister see me they greet me so happily and break into grins and i grin back.

If only adults would learn the same…

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