Why It Works
Training children in age-appropriate household tasks and the proper behavior in a variety of situations sets them up for short-term and long-term success. Each time your child manages a responsibility, he feels a huge boost in personal significance, power, and independence. He experiences the positive effects of sharing in a household’s responsibilities as well as its privileges, and can see how his contributions benefit the whole family.
Practically speaking, your child learns real-life skills while unburdening you. These are things we can’t expect our kids to just pick up from watching us around the house. Not only would they lack the motivation, but even tasks like making toast can be intimidating to a child who’s never done it on his own. However, when you take the time to deliberately train your child in a task or behavior, he’ll learn everything he needs to know, not just the information he can glean out of the “don’t” phrases we are apt to use. Although he may have his own methods for completing a task, he’ll learn the pitfalls up front, and see at least one “right” way to do it to achieve the desired result. And with the correct training, he won’t need you to nag or remind him about the task later.
Just as the jobs themselves don’t always come naturally to kids, the ability to train doesn’t always come naturally to us. Read on to learn how to get started, and how to make sure your training is effective.