Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Modeling for Chores

The most effective way to get humans to do something is to do it in front of them: that's modeling. If you want kids to do chores, you have to start when they WANT to mimic everything they see adults doing, which is the toddler phase.

You know that thing we're always seeing T-American folks do, when they just reach over and pitch in without being asked or even really thinking about it? There's a word for that:

"Volunteering to help is such an important trait in kids that Mexican families even have a term for it: acomedido.

"It's a really complex term," says Andrew Coppens, an education researcher at the University of New Hampshire, who collaborates with Rogoff. "It's not just doing what you're told, and it's not just helping out. It's knowing the kind of help that is situationally appropriate because you're paying attention."

It's not just a Mexican thing, either. Around here, it's Amish. I've seen half a dozen Amish kids swarm a carriage to wash it, with the toddler doing the wheels. If you're shopping in their store and you drop stuff, someone will help you pick it up.

I see it in my audience, too: if somebody mentions a problem or a need, and someone else has a solution then they'll pipe up and solve it.  This is great.  I squish you all.
Tags: family skills, how to, news
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