Giving Your Young Kids Responsibilities

Almost all parents have had the pleasure of arguing with your kids about something you think is completely ridiculous, especially when it comes to your younger children and their responsibilities. Maybe you thought you had a couple years before your kids turn into teenagers before they begin wanting to take control of their own lives, but that’s not necessarily true. Even toddlers want some measure of control, and many parents might not understand how to allow kids this age to have control, but it can be done.

Give Choices

Even the youngest children want to make their own decisions and feel that they have some control over their own life. It’s hard to relinquish control to a toddler, but you have to do it to teach her responsibility and to minimize temper tantrums and arguments. Do this by allowing your child to make her own choices while still maintaining control of the situation. For example, if you fight over what she wears to school in the mornings, give her two options and let her pick the one she wants. You still have her wearing what you want and she feels like she made the executive decision.

Let her Make Mistakes

When your child makes mistakes, she learns more than listening to you talk about what could happen. This doesn’t mean you need to let her start touching hot stove tops or petting alligators, but you do need to let her make mistakes. For example, if she keeps leaving her food on the table and getting up to do other things, let the dog get her food. Now that she knows firsthand what happens when she doesn’t stay seated until her meal is over, she’s less likely to get up and wander.

Provide her With Responsibilities

Once she’s two or three, you can let her take on some responsibility, such as putting on her own clothes in the morning or putting toothpaste on her own toothbrush. Teach her to make her bed and give her responsibilities, such as keeping her room clean. Teach her to do this by rewarding her with praise or even an allowance.


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