Introduction – “I Can Do It:” Responsibilities for Young Children

[www.freeimages.com] deck-chair-2-356294-mAfter five years of living in rainy Eugene, Oregon my husband and I were thrilled about the weather change when his job transferred our family to sunny, southern California.

His new boss required that we lived in the same city as he did, so we rented a home in very expensive Orange County. Every home in this planned community had a mandatory membership to Lake Mission Viejo.

Our four year-old preschooler and six-year- old first grade daughters loved the weather too. Almost daily after school, the three of us traipsed to the sun drenched lake. Both girls carried their own plastic pink or purple tote for their beach towel and any other items they wanted, such as sand toys. They were entirely responsible for packing their bags and toting them to and from the car and lake.

“But what if she forgot her towel?” parents retort.

“Then she was wet. Or maybe her sister kindly shared her towel.”

But the girls quickly learned, just as your young children will learn. They are responsible for their items, not Mommy or Daddy. Teaching this lesson when the stakes are low is invaluable as they get older. I know one mom who still packs her daughter’s bag for basketball practice. The daughter is a senior. Who’s going to pack her bag at college?

Just as our daughters learned about personal responsibility, in my talk, “I Can Do It:” Responsibilities for Young Children on March 10, we’re going to cover giving preschoolers choices to learn decision making; developing preschooler’s thinking skills; fostering independence and initiative with chores; actually implementing the chores; countering the myth, “It’s easier to do it myself”; ensuring success while making chores fun; and ages for responsibilities.

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