Children · education

Encouraging little hands to help

Many hands make twice the work!

Very often when you are in the middle of a task like cleaning cupboards or tidying up shelves, Little Hands come up to you, expectantly hoping you’d ask them to help.  As they grow older, they actually verbalise and ask to  help, only to be told very brusquely ” NO YOU CAN”T”.  After all, who hasn’t experienced a half hour job stretching to twice the time with willing hands making twice the work : help in the kitchen often translates to  help a mess on the floor or tidying cupboards means re-folding clothes all over again? So it would seem far easier to let the children off the hook and do the work yourself.

Building a sense of worth

But while you may get the job done, you are doing your Little Hands a great disservice. I remember how I used to enlist the help of my girls in routine housework and how they loved to help tidy up their toys, keep away their clothes and even  water the plants in my tiny balcony. As they grew up, the help extended to laying the table, polishing their own shoes and sometimes helping me with odd jobs around the house.  I can never forget how a niece who was spending the night actually complained that I was just making my children into little slaves and wondered how I’d manage without them! To tell you the truth, I did often wonder if I was exploiting them and doing things right….but looking back, I can see how encouraging little hands to work only gives them a sense of worth, instills a sense of commitment and family and makes them feel they really matter


Image from flickr


This morning I came across a delightful story that I’d like to share with all of you. Do read this wonderful post by Stuart M Perkins at

And as for those Little Hands, encourage them to work. Many hands may make more work but it definitely makes happier children.


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