Parents know that teaching children to pick up after themselves - putting toys away, putting clothes in the hamper, help set the table, help clear the table, washing dishes – is not always easy, but it is essential for many reasons. It teaches children responsibility and teamwork! It reinforces the connection between consequences and their behavior. It helps with teaching them that actions, positive or negative, lead to consequences. Experts suggest that early on you should decide how you want your child to behave. Important questions to ask yourself: what values do you want them to learn? How do you want them to treat others? What types of discipline and at what age? Choosing the right encouraging words?
As important as rules are to a child, so are the parent’s reinforcement of the rules – you cannot have one rule today, it disappears tomorrow, but then it shows up again next week.
Babies quickly turn into toddlers that sprout into young children that zoom into pre-adolescents that grow into teenagers that evolve into young adults. One of the common threads to successful growth is most often taking responsibility for your actions – be they good or bad. Giving children responsibility helps them understand the positives and negatives in life. It’s a steady, evolving process resulting in children feeling fully responsible for their actions.
Here are Harry Pierre & PeTunia’s suggestions for a few age related responsibilities:
* 2 – 3 year olds can assist you in putting their toys away in the toy chest; can help you fold napkins for the dinner table placing their hand atop yours; with direction, can put their shoes side-by-side behind the back door and help you make their beds.
*4 – 5 year olds can almost make their beds by themselves. If there is a wrinkled sheet or a tucked under comforter, be sure to praise their efforts first before picking out the negatives. They can help set the dinner table and clear it off, and with direction, can help in watering the plants.
*6 – 7 year olds can set the dinner table. They can help make their lunches, and many 7 and 8 year olds can take the trash out if the trash container outside is not too high. They can pick weeds, with appropriate sunscreen and supervision, and they can help sweep and vacuum the floors.
Please remember that children, like adults, have accidents and that the results are not always perfect, but all will enjoy hearing “Good job!” Proper encouragement and steady rules will help children become the best they can be!
Harry Pierre & PeTunia look forward to hearing your comments, ideas, and suggestions (what chores you give your children, their ages, rewards, suggestions that will help other parents).
Parents working together help Harry Pierre & PeTunia help children be the best they can be... thank you!