Did you know that 95% of our behavioral patterns are established by the age of 6? And that only 1 out of 10 adults ever change their behavioral patterns?
This is why it’s so important to start teaching our little ones as soon as possible.
Here is a list of strategies that we are are practicing at home right now.
- You make a mess you clean it up. Even though it might be quicker and easier for you to do it yourself, teach your kids that when they make a mess they clean it up. Get your kids in a routine. Have them pick up any messes they made before starting another activity or before going outside to play. If they spill their food or drink ask them to go get the napkins to clean up their mess. Give your kids a chance to handle it first.
- Read books that will inspire your kids to want to do good. Our favorite board book series right now is the Inspirational Nursery Rhymes series. Their favorite book from the series is Be Responsible Like Max.
My girls (3 & 4) love these to be read to them at bedtime.These books teach positive values, personal inspiration, manners, gratitude and personal responsibility and make the learning process fun! The author is a mother of three and is married to a self-help expert. She created this series as sort of a self-help for kids that teach effective strategies for helping them create a positive belief system. These are great for kids ages 0-7.
- Never blame your kids for mistakes or accidents. Blame is the reason why kids grow up lying to their parents as they become afraid of the consequences. Accepting what happened and helping them learn from their mistakes will have lasting positive effects.
- Start age appropriate chores early. Having your kids perform chores around the home is teaching them that contributing and helping the family is important. Find age appropriate things they can help with. My 3-year-old helps me sort laundry and my almost 5-year-old helps me wash the dishes. Make it fun because you don’t want them to feel like drudgery. Some days my 4-year-old loves washing the dishes and other days she’s less excited. On those days I give her the option to either help with the dishes or help with another chore like picking up toys with her sister or wiping down the kitchen table.
- Don’t label your child. Rather than saying “you are being irresponsible” say “being responsible is….”and state the action of what you need them to do. Example: “Being responsible is cleaning up the toys that are on the floor.” or “Being responsible is brushing your teeth before you go to bed.” Labeling your child as irresponsible has a negative tone and will almost always have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to instill.
- Don’t force apologies. Forcing a child to apologize when they don’t fully understand what has happened can be useless. Some kids have a hard time expressing their feelings and coping with emotions. Example: Big sis says or acts some way to hurt her little sister’s feelings. After consoling the little one for her hurt feelings, ask the older sister what happened that made her feel so angry. Help her understand what she is feeling and how she can cope with those emotions differently in the future. Help her understand how her little sister feels when she acts this way. This strategy, versus simply getting upset with the older sister, will have positive lasting effects. Your goal is to have your child apologize for having compassion for someone else’s feelings versus apologizing for fear of getting into trouble.
Inspirational Nursery Rhymes: Set of 4 board books