• When you choose a time to begin, make sure that:
-Both you and the child are well-rested, well-fed and in the Adult Ego State so you’ll be in the right frame of mind for sharing new information.
-There will be as few distractions as possible during each training session.
-You’re at home and in a low-stress environment. (Don’t try to train on table manners when you’re at Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner!)
• Keep it light and make it fun. Be creative! Use role-play whenever possible—children love to act and role-play can be a wonderful training tool. Invite dolls, stuffed animals, and action figures to participate. Switch roles and have your child “teach” you the right way to do it.
• Encourage any progress toward the goal, and look for improvement and effort. Avoid criticizing at all costs: when a child’s learning something new, criticism can set the training process back for a long time. Remember, you’ve had decades of experience with the task that your child is just beginning to learn, and she doesn’t have to do a job exactly how you would. If you need to, you can suggest, “One thing that works well for me is…. You could try that.”
• Once your child has the task mastered at an age-appropriate level, add it to his list of family contributions. She’ll be excited about a new “grown up” way to contribute to your family. Yes, I’m realistic enough to know that the novelty of the new task will soon fade, so you’ll learn how to make sure your child continues to do it in next few chapters and tools.
2-3 Years Old»