Parents want to raise independent, self-confident (PRE-SCHOOLER) and responsible children. While guiding children and teaching them is an essential element of parenting, teaching them responsibility is important for their own benefit. Responsibility will increase their self-esteem and give their lives more meaning.
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The key is to help children understand that responsibility is a joy rather than a burden. If a child wants to grow up to be self-sufficient, he will see responsibility as a means to an end. They will feel that they matter to the world by making a positive contribution to the environment and society around them.
Now let’s look at 5 Reggio Emilia supported ways to teach your pre-schoolers the virtues of responsibility.
#1. Make chores a habit, not a once in a while thing
Let’s face it, no one likes housework, be it kids or adults. But they have to do it. Don’t “force” your child to do chores, but incorporate them into the family routine. Once your child sees everyone around the house doing something, they won’t feel burdened with chores. Make work fun. Give him structure and as much support as possible. Remind your child of the joy of seeing a clean home or a beautiful garden. And yes, lend a hand too! Your child will slowly start to do tasks on his own.
#2. Give your child age-appropriate responsibilities
While we recommend that housework (PRE-SCHOOLER) becomes a routine, it is essential to choose age-appropriate responsibilities. Let your child enjoy their teenage years and don’t burden yourself with things beyond their age. Start with simple household chores such as wiping the table, putting away toys after playing, putting used clothes in the laundry, etc. Gradually, as your child grows, you can move on to bigger duties such as laundry or washing dishes.
#3. Teach your child to be responsible for his interactions with others
Teaching children to consider other people’s feelings is an important responsibility of parents. When your child hurts someone’s feelings—whether it’s a sibling or a friend—don’t make them apologize. Instead, listen to his feelings and why he acted the way he did. Then explain to him how his behaviour hurt the other person. Once your child understands the consequences of his behaviour, he will be ready to apologize and is likely to avoid repeating the same mistake.
#4. Do not rush to help your child
As parents, we often step in too soon. Give your child (PRE-SCHOOLER) some space and let him understand what is going on. You can always save her when things get bad. But first let her try to find a solution, how to be herself and understand her feelings. If she solves the problem herself, she will remember it for the rest of her life.
#5. Create a guilt-free home
Such defensive actions can become a habit and damage the child for life. Children who want to defend themselves more than take responsibility for their own actions tend to lie to their parents to defend themselves and are more likely to repeat the mistake.
Instead of blaming whoever did something wrong at home – whether it’s a child or an adult, make something positive out of it by discussing (PRE-SCHOOLER) what happened, how it affected people, and what could be done differently. You will see a world of difference in the attitude of your child and even adults if the guilt is removed. We all make mistakes, don’t we? Your child needs to know that it is okay to make mistakes, but it is important not to repeat the same mistake.
Children who take responsibility from a young age grow into adults who are motivated to do something on their own and stand out from the crowd. As a parent, this is the greatest gift you can give your child.
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