• Jessica Diaz

Being Helpful: Teaching Your Kids to Be Helpful in 5 Steps




In today’s post, we will answer these 3 questions:

  • What does it mean to help others?

  • Why is it important that kids learn to be helpful?

  • How can I teach my kids to be helpful?


Plus, we’ll go over:

5 Steps for Teaching Your Kids How and When to be Helpful


What does it mean to be helpful?


You help others when you’re willing to lend a hand. It’s when you make life easier for someone else by doing something that’s useful.


Why is it important that kids learn to be helpful?


By teaching your kids to be helpful, you’re helping them understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. You’re teaching them to think about the needs of others. It’s a great way to help your kids avoid a since of entitlement.


How can I teach my kids to be helpful?


1.) Teach your kids to do chores


Making chores an expectation at home teaches kids that they should be a contributing member of the family. It gives them an opportunity to learn what it means to be helpful.


2.) Model helpful behavior


Show your kids what it means to be helpful through your actions. If an opportunity to be helpful pops up, take advantage! Just don’t get carried away…You don’t want to be so helpful that your kids don’t have anything left to do ;)


3.) Talk about what it means to be helpful


There may be great natural opportunities to talk about helpfulness. But, if that doesn’t seem to be working out, books can be a great way to start a conversation about what it means to be helpful. You can read a story and talk about how the characters were helpful and why it was good. (If you're not sure where to start, you could check out Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, or Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss.)


4.) Look for opportunities to volunteer in your area


Sometimes your kids want to do more to help others, but they’re not sure where to start.


Here are a few ideas:

  • Organize a food drive for an organization in your community

  • Have a bake sale

  • Volunteer for a community clean-up day


Join an organization that volunteers:

  • scouting troops

  • school clubs

  • youth groups


5.) Let your kids know that there are times when they should NOT help someone else


Yep. You read that correctly.


Avoiding Responsibility

We are each responsible for ourselves and how we treat others. But, we aren’t responsible for the decisions and actions of others. Sometimes kids feel like they’re helping a friend by protecting them from the consequences of their actions. But, truth is that they’re actually robing their friend of the chance to grow and learn from their mistakes.


So, encourage your kids to value truthfulness over helpfulness when it comes to letting their friends take ownership of their actions.


Example:

Let’s say that your son’s friend Billy hit another kid at recess. Your son was the only one that saw what happened. And, his teacher is asking him about it. Your son might be tempted to help Billy avoid responsibility by saying that he didn’t see what happened or not telling his teacher the truth.


But, in this situation it's important to be honest and let Billy take responsibility for his actions.


You don’t have the time


Helping people is great! But, you and your kids shouldn’t stretch yourselves too thin.


Example:

Your kid’s friend, Kelly, calls because she wants to spend the next hour interviewing your daughter for a paper that’s due tomorrow. But, your daughter has soccer practice and needs to study for a test she has coming up in her History class.


Your daughter may want to help Kelly, but she really doesn’t have the time.


In general, teaching your kids to help others is wonderful. It helps them learn not to be selfish and to be more considerate of the people around them. Just make sure that they know when to help and when not to.



If you want help teaching your kids about being helpful, check out my YouTube video below:




If you want even more resources to teach your kids or students about being helpful, check out my Being Helpful Packet on TeachersPayTeachers. Just click the image below.






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About the author:




Hi! I'm Jessica from Learning with Jessica Diaz. I'm a teacher and a mother of two. All of the info I have shared with you is a result of what I have learned teaching my own kids and my students, as well as a love of reading and learning! I really hope that this information helps you, and I wish you all the best!


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