Children Love to Learn
- Open and honest communication will create a lifelong closeness with your child.
- Routines and responsibilities will let your child know what to expect. When a rule is broken, a natural consequence needs to follow.
- As you teach your child how to be independent, you also need to teach how to be safe.
- Learning how to be a good friend is an important skill you can teach your child.
- Your little one is starting to explore the world outside your home. This is exciting, but can be scary!
- Beginning to develop their independence and form real friendships.
- Learning rules to more difficult games.
- Developing important life skills.
- That what they did was wrong
- What will happen if the behavior continues Consequences need to be logical, meaningful, and simple. For example:
- If your child rides a bike without a helmet, the bike is off limits for a day or two.
- When your child won’t share a toy, that toy can’t be used for the rest of the day.
Children do best when they know what to expect.
In the morning:
- Use the bathroom
- Get dressed
- Have breakfast
- Take a bath
- Brush teeth
- Read a story
Read at bedtime. This helps your child:
- Settle down after a busy day
- Learn how to read
This is a great way to spend time together and share family traditions, while also teaching good eating habits and table manners.
Take Time to Talk and ListenChildren feel important when adults take the time to talk with them. Talking often, and about many things, helps them gain self-confidence. Ask about friendships and the activities that your child enjoys. Talk about your own best and worst experiences.
Ask your child:
- “What was the best part of today?”
- “What was the hardest part of today?”
Assign ResponsibilityWhen young children copy everyday household tasks, they are really learning how to contribute. With your support, tasks will soon be done with few reminders. As children grow older, they can begin to take on real responsibilities, such as:
- Setting the table
- Putting away their toys
- Feeding the pets
- Placing dirty clothes in a basket
Encourage Independence in Bathing and DressingAt first, this may take a little more time than helping your child get dressed or take a bath, but
it is time well spent. Independence comes with practice, and with your guidance.
If you get the clothes ready the night before, the morning routine will involve only getting dressed. This way, your child can focus on just one thing. Your child may need to be reminded of all the steps.
- “In the morning, when you get up,
- First, use the bathroom,
- Then, take off your PJs,
- And then, put on your clothes.”
“You did a great job getting yourself ready for school today!”
Teach Simple Rules About Safety with AdultsKeeping children safe is an important job for parents. You want your child to respect and trust others, but you also need to teach your child to be careful. Following are some simple rules and ways that you can start a conversation with your child about different safety issues.
- “If you’re not sure, ask me.”
- “If an adult asks you to do something that you’re not sure is OK, always ask me first. I won’t get mad at you for asking.”
- “No secrets.”
- “No one should ever tell you to keep a secret from me—one that might make me mad if I found out. Adults should never expect you to do this.”
- “Certain body parts are private.”
- “No adults (except parents, doctors, and nurses) should touch you where you normally wear a bathing suit.”
- “If we get separated, find a security guard or police officer.”
- “This is a very busy place. If you can’t find me, find a security guard or police officer, or ask someone to help you find one. That person will help you find me.”
- When you take your child to a crowded place, look around and point out the person who is there to help if you do become separated.
- Help your child understand the other child’s point of view. “I guess Suzie wants a turn too.”
- Teach your child the following:
- Stay calm
- Do not hit, grab, or shove
- Use words:
- “I get upset when you talk to me like that.”
- “I’m sad you don’t want to play with me.”
- “I’m angry you took the ball from me.”
- Stand close by and watch as the children solve their problem. Being close by puts the children on their best behavior. This is how they begin to develop the confidence and skills to communicate honestly, calmly, and politely with others.
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