How to talk to a child about the importance of caring for younger siblings

Did someone give you a helping hand today? Did Mom or Dad make breakfast and help you get ready for school? Perhaps your teacher showed you something new, or your friend made you laugh? It’s good to have people caring for you, isn’t it? Life would be pretty tough and lonely without them.

Remember your first day at school. Were you a bit scared? But some of the big kids were kind and showed you what to do. Now you’re a big kid yourself. Sometimes your teacher might ask you to lend a hand with the little ones. The little ones look up to you. To them, you seem very grown-up.

Do you have a little brother or sister at home? Everyone knows you love them but they can make you mad sometimes, can’t they? Just when you want to play with one of your friends, or sit down by yourself to do something, they pester you and butt in. But guess what? Your little brother or sister is paying you a compliment. You’re a hero to those little people at home. They copy everything you do because they want to be just like you. That should make you feel proud.

Things probably get a bit hectic at mealtimes, or at the weekend when Mom or Dad is trying to get chores done. Your parents do their best for you, and sometimes find it hard to fit everything in. Remember how grown-up you are compared with the little ones at home? It sure would help Mom or Dad if you could spend some time taking care of them, just like your teacher expects you to look out for the little kids at school.

If your brother or sister is just a baby you could maybe get down on the floor and play with them, building with blocks or making music with rattles. Or if they’re a bit older, read them stories, show them a new game or kick a ball around in the yard. They will learn fast with you as a teacher. Your Mom and Dad will be proud of you, and they’ll be able to get things done while you are keeping an eye on the baby.

Most of all, you should feel proud of yourself. You just made yourself even more special to the little person in your life, and you took a big step along the road to being an adult.