Raising children doesn’t only involve clothing them, putting food in their plates, securing a roof over their heads and saving up for their future. To raise a child requires a great deal of teachings and guidance from parents tantamount to shaping good character in them that will play a major role in their success, survival and well-being in the future. One secret to raising good children is teaching them responsibility.
Children at ages 2 and 3 can already perform a few age-appropriate tasks on their own such as dressing themselves, brushing their teeth, getting in the shower and eat by themselves.
The following are great tasks for your toddlers and young preschoolers to perform that can help teach children to be responsible.
A. Tasks That They Can Do At Home
1. When they get up in the morning, start the day by encouraging them to make their own bed.
2. You need help in the kitchen too. Ask them to lend you a hand in taking dishes, glasses and utensils to prepare the table. Instruct him or her to take that box of milk or fruit juice from the fridge to the table.
3. Engage them in setting the table. Good table manners are not only about being able to use the spoon and fork, sitting up straight or no talking when their mouth is full, but also being responsible enough to wipe up their spills without being told. After mealtimes, get them to clear the dishes and take them to the kitchen sink on their own.
4. When it is time for shower, get them in a habit of taking off their clothes on their own, have them put their dirty clothes in the hamper, clean themselves on their own, and don’t forget to teach them to hang their towels after shower by themselves too. A clean wet towel left on the floor isn’t a pretty sight to see.
5. To save yourself time and effort doing never-ending chores, teach children to tidy up their toys every time they’re done playing with them. It’s frustrating to do vacuum-cleaning with toys everywhere. As for dressing up, allow them to pick clothes to wear, get dressed and tie up their shoes on their own.
6. Having a pet is a great way to teach children not only responsibility but also compassion and selflessness. Engage them in feeding and grooming your pet.
B. Tasks That They Can Do Outside of Home
7. Toddlers and young preschoolers can get in the car and fasten their seat belts on their own (but always make sure to double check that they are fastened securely and properly) and carry their own bags.
8. When you are out grocery shopping, allow them to express their opinion on purchases you want to make. Doing so can help boost their self-esteem, making them feel that their opinion matters and that they are social equals. As you head out, make sure that they notice your kind gesture as you thank the clerk. The best way to teaching your very young ones good manners is by setting a good example to them. Don’t forget to get them to help you carry the groceries too.
9. If you have a yard or a garden, sweeping or watering the plants together is another useful, meaningful activity that you can do with your children.
10. When in public places travelling with your child enforce good values consistently. A simple act of teaching them to avoid littering can make a big difference.
Failing to teach children about being accountable for their actions can ruin them for life. Instill the value of independence in them early on, along with the many good ones that they need in order to be productive, responsible adults in society in the future.
As a Proverbs verse says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”