Remember how our parents used to involve us so much in house chores back in the days? As parents of today, we should likewise do the same for our children – and there are several studies that prove our young ones are actually more than willing to lend a helping hand.
In most cases, we often see our children as additional work, not as sources of help. This is not exactly accurate as many researchers claim these youngsters grow up with the desire to help. And it will benefit them much if we allow and train them early on in their lives.
Case in point, a 1982 research conducted by Harriet Rheingold tells us that upon observing 80 children ages 18, 24, and 30 months, all youngsters voluntarily helped their parents who were busy doing routine house chores – despite the fact that the parents were instructed not to verbally ask for help.
Rheingold later shared:
“The children carried out their efforts with quick and energetic movement, excited vocal intonations, animated facial expressions, and with delight in the finished task.”
Meanwhile, book author and Boston College research professor Peter Gray tells us in a Psychology Today article that several other modern studies “have confirmed this apparently universal desire of toddlers to help.”
“A common procedure is to bring the little child into the laboratory, allow him or her to play with toys in one part of the room, and then create a condition in which the experimenter needs help in another part of the room. For example, the experimenter might “accidentally” drop something onto the floor, over a barrier, and try but fail to reach it. The child, who is on the other side of the barrier from the experimenter, can help by picking the object up and handing it over the barrier to the experimenter. The key question is: Does the child come over and help without being asked? The answer is yes, in almost every case. All the experimenter has to do is draw attention to the fact, through a grunt and attempts to reach, that she is trying to get the object. ”
So yes, even very young children have the innate desire to help out.
As Gray put it:
“Even infants as young as 14 months have been found regularly to help in these situations. They see what the experimenter is trying to do, infer what she needs, and then, on their own initiative, satisfy that need.”
Furthermore, a Harvard study likewise declares that children who grow up doing home chores tend to achieve greater success later on in their lives.
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