The art of helpful parenting – Acomedido part 1

Being an Acomedido goes beyond just doing a job because you have to. It involves sensing the right help at the right time, through observation and insight. Children in the Mayan culture, and in other indigenous communities in Mexico, grow up with a natural inclination to help, without explicit asking, threats of punishment, or enticement with rewards. This means that they learn from an early age to take responsibility for their loved ones and to step in when necessary.

Joy and responsibility  tasks

Mayan and Nahua children often find joy in the chores they perform. This is because their parents teach them to not only be helpful, but also to appreciate their work and take pride in their contributions to the family. Helping with chores is not seen as a burden, but as a privilege that contributes to family life. The children learn that helping has an intrinsic value and can be a source of pride.

Support from a helping hand

The most important thing is that children have the opportunity to help when they want to, even if it means making a mess sometimes. This process of learning and experiencing is essential for the development of the child. An anecdote about Era, who helps unpack groceries, shows that the intention to help and learn is more valuable than perfectly completing the task.

Temper tantrums and helpfulness

Toddlers worldwide share two defining traits: tantrums and the urge to help. This urge is so strong that they even leave their toys to help an adult, a natural behavior that goes beyond the expectation of a reward. The research shows that young children are less likely to help if they know there will be a reward – they help because they want to, not for a reward.

Acomedido: A selfless contribution

Children who are acomedido show a natural willingness to help without expecting anything in return. The real reward lies in the act of helping itself and the satisfaction it brings. This behavior reflects a deeply held value within the community that promotes unconditional help and support.

The essence of Acomedido

  1. Being acomedido is a complex concept that involves providing the right help at the right time, based on attention to the needs of others.
  2. Children who grow up in cultures that emphasize acomedido find joy in helping and learn to appreciate the value of their work, which contributes to a sense of pride and responsibility.
  3. The urge to help is a universal trait of toddlers that is not driven by the expectation of reward, making being acomedido a natural and intrinsic part of their development.

From Hunt, Gather, Parent