My mother told me a story today. She used to have a kid in her school with Down's syndrome who needed help with things like dressing and so on. Someone always needed to hold her hand when she went out. My mother told the other kids (aged 5 to 6) that they could all be the teacher for this kid, not just my mother on her own. She put it over to them in such a skilful way that the other kids in the class got a big kick out of being able to be the teacher. They were great with this little girl.
Perhaps this could be a way to get our kids happily on board at a time like this?
I might have thought at one time that it would be unfair to ask a child to do such things, to take responsibility. However, since living in Asia and seeing how kids are raised there, I have had a different idea of good child-rearing than I had before. It seems to me that if kids have moments where they have to grow up, even when they are very young, then they seem to carry some of their innocent, child-like quality into their adult life. In poor parts of Asia children are often looking after a grandparent while the parents are working. People from this kind of background tend to be very natural and playful in their caring for others, especially the elderly.
I offer this for your reflection