A sense of dutyStart small by giving them little tasks to accomplish. You can try these:
- Wipe off part of the table after a meal
- Pick up toys
- Match socks
- Shut off TV or lights
This sets the basis for them to progress to more complex duties. Some appropriate chores for toddlers include:
- Set (unbreakable) plates, utensils, cups on the table
- Pour dry cereal
- Put folded clothes in a drawer
- Hold the door for others
- Carry small items from the car
Stimulating a young mindIt's good to make learning a natural part of your daily lives. All you need is to be mindful of all the opportunities around you. Everyday events can be made into fun contests and challenges to encourage curiosity. Here are some examples:
- Let him repeat words after you, and point out the corresponding objects, colours, shapes etc.
- Use open-ended and follow-up questions to encourage conversation
- Play repetitive games to improve memory and attention
- Lead his interests into new territory: If he loves the outdoors, make him a garden box to grow little plants
Remember to praise your child when he accomplishes a task. Tell them how responsible they are by doing the chores. This will help them to begin to understand responsibility and see that they have a meaningful role in the family.
Manners maketh manStart on manners early, when your child is ready to speak. Concentrate on the "magic words". Tell him they have a secret power, even on grown-ups. Reward him when he learns them, and it will feed into his urge to learn and master newer words.
- "Please" -- when he wants something
- "Thank you" -- when he is given something
- "Excuse me " -- to get someone's attention
- "I'm sorry" -- when he's done something wrong
Teach him, then remind him over and over and over and over. To further instill politeness as a habit, you'll have to reward him with your attention and praise. Listen alertly and respond accordingly.
Sharing and making friendsAs your toddler starts communicating with other toddlers and forming friendships, pay attention. He begins forming his own identity, becoming his own person, and naturally -- claiming ownership of what is his. His toys, his bed, his home. This explains why toddlers seldom share without prompting.
Letting toddlers play together is useful, to understand the difference between possession and ownership. (Not forgetting manners!) When 2 toddlers start fighting over a toy, suggest social alternatives:
- Taking turns
- Asking nicely for permission
- Offer a trade
Remember to be ready to praise and reward him when he does something right. It enables him to better understand how society works, when he sees the benefit of behaving properly.
Credit: Growing Up Together -- brought to you by