In this two-part article I wanted to present 10 ways you (and me) can help the next generation become happier and more confident.
In Can we teach our grandchildren to be happy? We discussed how we can teach our grandchildren how to develop resilience, courage and the happiness which stems from these values.
One way is to give our grandkids things to do – practical, safe and easy tasks which will build their confidence.
Here are 10 things I insisted my children do. They are easy and, with guidance, safe. My children are part of the millennial generation – those young adult who are supposed to have a no work ethic; who are spoilt; and who have an over-developed sense of their own importance.
My children are not like that. They studied, got jobs, bought houses, and are raising my grandchildren. They are more like my generation, than their peers.
My grandchildren are now performing these tasks when they visit for the very same reasons their parents did.
1. Wash the dishes
Ask your grandchildren to help you wash the dishes or stack the dishwasher. If the dishes don’t come out as clean as you like, hand them back and ask them to do them again.
2. Clean the car
Washing the car is hard work, but why not share this task? While this is a good opportunity to have a water fight, it is also a great way to learn to look after an expensive investment. Just like washing the dishes, if it’s not clean or they missed a bit, ask them to do it again.
3. Sweep the floor
Running the broom over the floor only takes a few minutes, but it makes the floor cleaner and safer. It’s also a job most children can do safely, and they’ll develop a sense of pride in their work too.
4. Query an order at a café
We’ve all ordered something at a café and ended up being given the wrong thing. But, when it happens to your grandkids do you jump up and act on their behalf? What would happen if you encouraged them to speak politely to the waiter and ask for their order to be fixed?
Demonstrate this for younger children, and offer guidance. Also, remember to demonstrate gratitude when what they have ordered is delivered correctly.
5. Build something
Encourage your grandchildren to make something with old pieces of wood or boxes. Allow them to learn how heavy a piece of wood can be or how to carry it with balance? Encourage them to climb on low-level structures so they can discover how difficult it can be to build a sturdy platform. Don’t forget this is how many a cubby house or go cart came to life.