What do you visualize when you think about responsibility? Does your little ones come to mind? Learning how to build responsibility in the formative years will help your children develop the necessary life skills to be successful and appreciated.
What mom wouldn't love having their toddlers and preschoolers learning about responsibilities? Building responsibility isn't that difficult with a few steps that have proven to work with my four children and should be able to work with yours.
How to Build Responsibility in the Formative Years:
- I start YOUNG – Honestly, the best way is when they are too young to know that ‘work isn't fun'. The age when toddlers want to do everything you do is the best time to start training responsibilities in your children. Having them participate in your chores makes them feel grown up and part of the family.
- I do NOT expect PERFECTION – I give them responsibilities that aren't needing to be perfect. Adding praise more than showing them where they missed, which creates a desire to keep helping around the house. Often times, when the children were completely unaware of what I was doing, I would go behind them and touch up, if it mattered to me.
- I invite them to be a part of WHAT I'M DOING – Observation is a great teacher. Having a young child observing and attempting to do what you do is the best way for them to grow up with the skill from a young age.
- Creating a fun CHECKLIST – My children have loved checking off things and using stickers when accomplishing things. You can start with having a picture to represent their responsibility, i.e. bed for making their bed, toys for picking up toys, table for setting the table, dog for feeding the pet, windows for cleaning windows (my 3 year old LOVES this job and has now claimed it as his responsibility) and clothes on the floor for picking up their clothes.
- Praise them ALL DAY LONG – Each time your toddler or preschooler does a responsibility, praise them for the job they did. The praise is one of the best fuel you can give to your child when building responsibility in them.
I encourage you to start small and have fun. Before you know it, you will have a responsible toddler or preschooler helping you around the house with a smile and asking if they can help you with more.
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