Monday, September 4, 2017

Teaching Your Child Responsibility At A Young Age

Even though Scarlett is only two years old, that doesn't mean she's too young to learn how to be responsible for herself and her actions.  There are chores that a toddler this age can do and feel good about.

At this age, she likes to help out a lot which I appreciate.  I know that in just a few short years she's not going to want to help me vacuum or feed the dog, so I'll take it while I can! When I vacuum, she wants to help out and vacuum too.  I don't mean pushing a toy vacuum next to me, she wants to use the real thing.  Scarlett actually will vacuum a good portion of the carpet and I'll sit back and tell her thank you for helping, and you're doing a good job!  

Once she's done, I may have to re-vacuum certain areas depending on if she's missed them or not.  It makes her feel good to help.  She also may want to help me clean the windows, but I obviously cannot let her near a bottle of Windex, so I give her a dry paper towel to wipe the windows down while I actually clean them.  She loves that!

Another area that we teach responsibility is through toys and play-time.  We have a large playroom on our third level that has all of Scarlett's toys in it.  She usually will go in and take one toy out and then three more at the same time.  I tell her that you can only take one toy out at a time and you have to put the other two back.  Most of the time she listens, but you never know what you're going to get with a two year old.  I have to remind her also to clean up the current toy she's playing with if it's blocks for example, if she wants to take out another toy.  I want her to know that it's important to clean up a mess you've made if you want something else.  

Scarlett will also help me with the laundry by putting the wet clothes into the dryer.  I'll hand them to her one by one and she puts them into the dryer and really enjoys that.  I also let her close the dryer door and push the button to turn it on. 

As Scarlett gets older, I'd like to get her a behavior chart where she can earn a treat the end of each week for good behavior and doing what is asked of her.  Maybe even giving her $1 a week or $4 a month would allow her to save her money for something she wants too.  I think she'll be ready for that in the next year or so.  I definitely want her to learn that when you're responsible and keep your room clean and your toys in the toy box for example, you can save your money and buy something important to you.

Making sure that Scarlett knows that you have to earn and work for what you want in life is a lesson that I want to teach as she grows older.  I don't want her to think she can get whatever she wants all the time without doing something in return for it. 

Your children are never too young to learn how to be responsible for themselves.  Why not give them some small chores around the house to start? They'll feel useful and important and that's essential for a growing child. 

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