It’s imperative when teaching good habits to children, to start young. Here are tips for parents of preschoolers and young children.
Teaching Good Habits in Preschool: Start Early!
It is much better to start good habits young, rather than try to start them later in life. We all know this to be true. So, while we have little ones in our homes it is important that we teach them some habits that will benefit them the rest of their lives. But what habits should we be teaching and how do we teach them?
Below, I offer some ideas to get you started, though you will need to think about what is important in your household. Let these inspire you to begin getting to work building good habits in your children!
What should I teach?
While there is a nearly endless list, here are a few that are worth considering and attempting to teach.
- Making the bed
- Playing Independently
- Personal Hygiene, as age appropriate
- Cleaning up after themselves
- Putting toys away
How do I teach it?
- By example– Of course, one of the most powerful ways to teach anything is by example. If I want to teach the importance of making his bed each day, my son should see me making my bed each day!
- Direct instruction– It is usually necessary to actually teach the skill that you are attempting to put into your routine. We shouldn’t assume they already know how to do it. Maybe we need to actually demonstrate how to pull the covers up to make a bed. Or how and where to put up their toys.
- Provide assistance at first– It is probably too ambitious to show a child how to do something once and then expect them to do it each day successfully. Your assistance will be needed. Help them as needed, but fade out the help when possible. For example, allow them to start brushing their teeth only when they have mastered the skill without your help.
- Provide prompts– In the beginning, kids may need prompts to help them with daily tasks. Maybe you label toy boxes in their room to make putting their stuff up easier. They will know right where it goes. If you are trying to teach independent play, perhaps set out a few options of activities to do before you walk away from the child. Also, visual schedules can be helpful.
- Be consistent– Kids do well with schedules. Try to incorporate the new habits into the child’s daily routine as much as possible. That is how they become habits!
I have gathered a few specific resources that should help you as you build these habits into your child’s life.
- Songs About Good Habits– This is a collection of Super Silly Songs each having to do with good daily habits that kids should be learning.
- Teach Your Dragon Good Hygiene– A cute book to help kids understand why good hygiene is so important.
- The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room– A classic that helps kids to see the importance of keeping their room clean.
- Chore Chart– A simple chore chart that you can customize for your own needs. Get kids learning a good work ethic.
- Routine Chart for Kids– A cute chart to serve as a visual reminder of a child’s responsibilities.
- Toy labels– Check out these sweet, little labels you can use to help your child know where to put their toys. Will teach them to be independent in keeping their room picked up.