Teaching Children to Help OthersThursday, December 22nd, 2011
Madcap Logic is proud to join Primrose Schools supporting the Feeding America virtual food drive.
Primrose Day Care Centers have teamed up with the charity, Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief chairty in America, to raise food and money for those in need this holiday season. As the virtual food drive will come to an end Decemeber 31st, be sure to visit the Primrose Facebook page where you can like the page, which will donate 1 can (or $1) or you can share the page which will donate 2 cans (or $2).
Although it is a basic life skill, cooperation is not something that we are born with, but rather something we learn as we go through life. It allows us to develop and maintain relationships, and work successfully with other individuals. Infants do not come into this world with an understanding of the importance of sharing and compromise. These traits are learned through experience when the child becomes old enough to interact with others. Most children are introduced to cooperation when they are taught by adults to share their toys and take turns with other children in the playground and nursery. Through sharing such seemingly inconsequential items early in life, one will form a permanent habit of sharing that will most likely continue forever. This habit will manifest in many ways, such as one’s participation in charity work or the volunteering of his or her time to a worthy cause.
Learning to cooperate and share is the foundation of many other positive characteristics that most parents hope their children will acquire, such as the importance of “giving back” when one has enjoyed success and good fortune in life. It is also how youngsters develop the skills they will need to get along well with other individuals throughout the course of their life.
Leading by Example
As a parent, it is your behavior that your child will attempt to mimic first. Acting in a cooperative manner and displaying a sharing attitude toward others will instill the importance of these characteristics in your child’s mind. Important values are almost always learned from our parents in the course of daily life. For instance, you might say“If we all pitch in to help clean the kitchen after we eat, we will get finished quicker and can begin reading your new library book.”
Activities Requiring Family Participation
Planing a family project that requires the participation of each member will help a child to understand the importance of teamwork, and how assisting each other to work toward a common goal will benefit everyone involved. Such projects can be as simple as the planting of a garden, or playing an interactive game.
Preparing a meal is another ideal family project, as such activities offer a role for each member of the family. Children can search for the appropriate ingredients, and help mom and dad to mix and measure. Additionally, cleaning up after the meal can also be completed through teamwork. A great bedtime storybook to read to your youngster at the end of such a day would be the popular children’s favorite “Stone Soup.”
Stories With a Moral
The concept of cooperation can be introduced by reading stories to your child that feature characters who share. The Little Red Hen is an ideal choice in such books. After reading the story to your child, you should involve him or her in an active discussion of the outcome, and ask the child how he or she might react if asked to participate in a project that requires cooperation with others.
Children and Music
Children have an almost magical way of responding to music. Select a short musical piece and listen to it together. Then discuss the way the band, orchestra or chorus made these beautiful sounds by working in concert, sort of like a team. Children love when they can sing along with a karaoke machine or a CD. They also enjoy using simple instruments of rhythm to keep time to music. Gather a few of these things, let them make their own production and record it. They will love knowing what they accomplished together and will want to hear it again and again.
Sumitted by Emily Patterson on behalf of Primrose Schools.