When individuals feel like they are making a difference at their workplace, or when they have an impact on a life when they are volunteering for a non-profit, it makes them feel valuable and gives meaning to the time they are spending on a project or for a company. In this series of posts on leadership and parenting we are making comparisons between the two.
As parents it is important to realize that our children need to feel like they too are making a contribution to the vision and goals of the family. As you are building this important team, our family, allowing children to help around the house and making it a team effort with chores is part of building the team. Even if the final product completed by the child is only 80% as good as you would do, their helping makes them “belong” to the team. The feeling of belonging will protect our children from the major challenges facing them in our world today, like depression, stress and their relationships.
Then when chores are done or help is provided, be sure to let them know that you value their contribution. This does not have to be with monetary payment. It should be done with rewards of a more personal kind that will reach deeper into the heart of the child over time.
Being inclusive of all the different parts of family life (cleaning, yard work, play, homework, learning) with your children, will create a team with very deep bonds and will teach our children how to be good team members. Successful leaders know the importance of everyone on the team being recognized for their contributions and so can parents. Be sure to tell the members of your team why they are valuable to you.