The Point

The Point: Raising Helpful Kids

Raise up a child in the way he should go. A recent NPR story told how a family in Mexico is raising helpful kids. How? By letting them help even when they’re young and—well—less than helpful. As mom said, “Toddlers are born assistants.” Of course, it’s tempting to “rebuff a toddler’s offer to help” because it’s inconvenient. Kids make mistakes. But excluding toddlers from household chores stunts their development. Even if we have to spend a little more time cleaning up after the kids clean up, they’ll reap the benefits later. My wife has been able to do this way better than I have, and I’m thankful for her. She’s now got the Stonestreet girls taking orders from guests, setting and clearing the table, and even doing the dishes. Is it perfect service? Not yet, but we're getting there. Families need to learn to play and to work together. We want our kids to learn reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, but don’t we also want them to learn to enjoy work in service to others? For more on faith and culture, come to


John Stonestreet


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