Ways to Teach Your Preschoolers Responsibility

Posted on April 30, 2019 : Posted in Early Child Care, Legacy Academy

Learning responsibility is a lifelong process, and preschool is a great time to start. There are many ways to teach your preschoolers responsibility. Young children are eager to participate in daily tasks and be involved in important family work. Besides modeling responsibility, here are some ways you can encourage the development of skills that will benefit your child for life.

Work Together to Teach Responsibility

Very few preschoolers are mature enough to handle requests like, “Please go clean your room.” The number of tasks involved in cleaning a room requires many different executive skills, such as time management, prioritizing, and categorizing. To teach these foundational abilities, find ways to work alongside your preschooler. Clean their room, sort laundry, and do the dishes together. While you may not spend this time actively teaching preschoolers responsibility, they will notice and “catch” many of those necessary skills just from working with you.

Manage Your Expectations

Teaching preschoolers responsibility requires sacrifice. The things they clean may not be very clean at first. Tasks take longer, and steps are forgotten. It is important to manage your expectations and keep them appropriate to your child’s abilities. If a task must be done quickly or thoroughly, it’s probably not well-suited to your child’s attempts. Instead, save teaching moments for times when you are more available. Choose your child’s responsibilities according to their maturity and your ability to supervise. For example, asking your child to feed your pet daily is age-appropriate and easy to oversee. Conversely, expecting your child to sweep or mop is probably better suited to a task performed together.

Teach Problem-Solving with Responsibility

When your child has difficulty with responsibility, it is tempting to either reprimand them or take the responsibility away. However, your preschooler is much more likely to learn responsibility if you assist them in problem-solving when struggles arise. If your child is neglecting the expectations you have agreed on, have a conversation with them about what to do. Try not to cast judgment, but instead explain what you’ve noticed and ask for their ideas. Find a solution together and do everything you can to support their success. This lays the framework for healthy problem-solving in the future.

Give Room for Growth

In a busy life, it is tempting to only give preschoolers responsibility that is easy for them. Feeding the dog, hanging up their backpack, checking the mail – all of these things are well within the abilities of a preschooler and are often their first “jobs” in family life. However, to see your preschooler continue to grow in executive skills, it is important to give them jobs that require more effort and may not come easily. The goal is not to frustrate your child, so do not choose tasks that make them anxious or overwhelmed. Instead, begin by noticing what your child does well, such as organizing, moving quickly, remembering, etc. Then look for ways that they can use their skills to help your family. As preschoolers develop greater responsibility, their simpler jobs can be handed down to younger siblings or shared among all the family members.

Focus on Effort

To encourage your preschooler’s responsibility, remember to praise the effort they show. Notice when they work hard and praise their enterprise. Take the time to point out ways they have been helpful or encouraging to you in your work. Praising your child based on their effort rather than their accomplishment encourages your child to continue trying even when the results aren’t perfect.

Many adults find themselves attempting to learn responsibility later in life. When a job, family, or education depend on you, it is much more difficult to develop these essential skills. By finding methods to teach your preschoolers responsibility in safe and simple ways, you are laying the foundation for a successful life. If you are looking for childcare in a place that encourages these skills and abilities, consider Legacy Academy Flynn Crossing. Call or visit today for more information.