All children need encouragement. In middle childhood, kids are learning many skills and they need to be praised when they try hard to achieve a task. When they are doing their homework, be intuitive to their frustrations and adjust accordingly. If they vacuum the floor, tell them thanks for helping instead of telling the child that they missed a spot. If they are folding towels and they are not exactly the way you fold towels, applaud their efforts. Children being made aware of their importance and competency in life and life tasks will likely grow up to be adults who know they can get a job done and know they are important. Children need to be valued.
Some chores have limited room for error, which would include feeding and watering pets or livestock, watering the garden and any chore that would cause damage or injury by doing an inadequate job. Be sure the child is ready for the responsibility. There is not a good reason to normally settle for less than their best, but we need to seek out and praise effort and hard work and be creative when addressing the need for improvement. A child who believes he or she is capable will be more motivated to move on to more complex tasks.
Parents and caregivers have a hard time finding the right balance. Life gets busy and chaotic at times and we need to be sure that our children are given our full attention in a positive manner as much as possible. The few minutes before and after school and work can be great times to give your children your full attention. You may feel like you have too much going on, but the best thing a parent or caregiver can do is give the children all of you, whenever it is possible. If you have a half an hour with your kids in the morning, do your best to make your time together special and get the day off to a good start. Caregivers and children may have limited time together but if you can put away your own “stuff” and have some special time together every day, the children will be more confident and secure in their daily living, having been reassured that they are important. Give the time, energy, effort, patience and love it takes for your children to grow up to be considerate, competent, confident and resilient adults. Angela Johnson