Having a large family, I field a lot of questions. There are the standard questions about the number of children we have, but then come the questions on how we cope with so many littles and being able to accomplish anything.
My answer for most of those type of questions: get the littles involved!
Sometimes getting them involved requires a little planning, and sometimes it can be done on the fly, but getting them involved does so much more than keep them out of trouble and where you can see them.
Like what? Just to name a few:
You are teaching them valuable skills and important lessons.
They gain a sense of pride because of their accomplishments.
They receive positive attention from you.
They are learning how to contribute to the family home.
How do we involve the littles in our home?
While preparing food they can: retrieve items from the fridge or cabinet, mix ingredients together, pour ingredients in, and wipe up little spills.
Getting ready for meals they can: help set the table, put hotplates (trivets) on the table, carry the serving spoons to the table, and call the big kids to eat.
They are a huge help while cleaning because they can: hold the dust pan, dust the lower shelves, grab items from under the couch, wipe the baseboards, and carry items to the big kids that were left out. In our home we have small brooms and a little vacuum just so they can help out.
In their rooms they can: help make the beds, put the pillows in place, put the dirty clothes in the basket, put away some of the clean clothes, and organize the toys. We have made a game of organizing toys into their little bins. The littles will copy those games when they clean up, so the toys are put away very well!
Don’t forget to add little color, counting, shapes and math games in there. A bite of learning here and a bite of learning there really adds up!
Yes, sometimes it can and will add some time to what you are doing when you involve the littles, but it won’t be as much as you would think. It is well worth the investment of the extra time to not only help your little develop so many important skills.
Beyond those skills there are other positives that will resonate for years. You get to spend time enjoying all they can do to help instead of being frustrated at all they can take apart. They feel loved by all of the positive attention. They gain a sense of self-worth being able to help just like the big kids do.
The life lesson in this: helping them to use all of that energy to contribute to the house is a whole lot better than them using that energy to ravage a house. *grin*
How do you get your littles involved?
All for God’s glory,
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