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Must-Have Skill for Children #17: Taking Care of Others
There is a common belief that older siblings are generally more responsible, successful, and confident than younger siblings. According to one study, this is likely to be true. One of the reasons this may be the case is that older siblings often take on the role of another caretaker, usually to their younger siblings. But why are they the only ones with this responsibility?
As you can see, taking care of others is a skill that is valuable for every child. That’s why it’s our Must-Have Skill for Children this month! Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to watch over others, whether it’s through babysitting, raising a pet, or mentoring a group of other children in school, extracurricular activities, events, and more.
To raise your child to become a dependable adult, encourage them to take care of others, so they can develop these important traits!
Your child will only develop a sense of responsibility if they are given responsibilities. One of the most impactful is responsibility for others. Providing such opportunities will make them feel important, like they are contributing to their family or community. This also makes them feel as if you trust them, which they will take seriously and continue to behave in a trustworthy manner. Overall, they will feel more confident about themselves and their abilities.
Sense of Mentorship
In many cases, your child will be taking care of children who are younger. This gives them the chance to become a mentor, which isn’t a task they will take lightly. With some guidance from adults, they will adjust their behaviors accordingly to become a good mentor and role model for others to look up to. These experiences also show them how much of an impact their behaviors and actions have on others.
Similar to becoming mentors, taking care of others puts your child in a position of leadership. They will have to make big decisions, listen to their instincts, and learn from their experiences. They will also have to work collaboratively with others while commanding a certain level of respect and self-assertion. All of this will help them in every area of their lives, from teamwork in sports to group projects at work.
The right way to watch over others is to prioritize their needs and take into consideration what’s best for them during that time. It’s not about your child taking command of the group by putting their own needs first. In many cases, the younger children or a pet will require a lot of attention. Your child will understand that others need more care and attention sometimes, which will be a great lesson in selflessness and patience.
Your child will have to recognize the needs and wants of others without being told. Some children may be too shy or uncertain about how to communicate or express themselves. Pets, like dogs or turtles, can’t speak with words. This gives your child a chance to boost their emotional intelligence by practicing engaging with and understanding those around them. In turn, a perceptive, empathetic child will be better at picking up on social cues, strengthening relationships, and perspective taking.
It may be worrisome sometimes to give your child such responsibilities, but it’s important that they start experiencing this from a young age, even if it’s a little bit at a time. You can start by having them watch over younger children in the presence of adults at a family event. Based on how they do, you can give them advice or guidance, so they can become better at taking care of others on their own.
JEI steers our students forward in a similar manner. We guide and help them with what they learn in our centers, but we’re also aware that we can’t follow them into school or the workplace. Our main purpose is to transform them into independent, confident learners who will continue to grow on their own, even years after they finish our programs.
To find out more about how we can help your child learn, speak with an expert at a JEI Learning Center near you!