Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teaching Our Children: 4-5 Years Part I

"Children this age go from 0 to 60 on the independence scale, so it its vital to talk to them about safety rules before they get any big ideas," says Daniel Coury, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus Ohio. The most important thing is you don't want to scare them to death. They are ready for responsibility and you need to teach them where to draw the line. According to an article in the December 2009 issue of Parents magazine, there are some tips below that will help your child become more independent, but teach them the boundaries and dangers.

Taking Care of the Pet
Your fear: Your child will over feed the fish or dog.
Good fix: Rather than having your child shake the fish food from the container or try to handle a big bag of dog chow, make a few proportioned bags or bowls for the child. Tell your child that the bags contain the exact amount of food the pet needs to eat, and if the pet gets more it might get sick. If your children wants another task, encourage them to fill the dog or cats bowl with water, or brush the dog or cat (only if the pet enjoys being brushed). Then sit back and watch. If your child remembers to do a task day after day, let him/her keep doing it. If he/she forgets, scales down to a once-a-week chore and try again in a few months.

Making Breakfast
Your fear: Your child will get hurt or start a fire.
Good fix: Reorganize your kitchen so there are no-cook breakfast options your child can easily reach, suggest Nancy Prisby, a social worker at the Beech Acres Parenting Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fill a low drawer or bottom pantry shelf with cereal, granola bars, whole-grain crackers, peanut butter, child-safe utensils, and tableware. Keep a fruit bowl in a place your child can reach apples, pears, and seedless grapes. Make sure it is fruit they will not have to peel. Also, you can put a no-spill cup or water bottle filled with milk, juice, or water on the bottom shelf of the fridge so your child can pull it out. If your children ask about using the microwave or toaster oven, tell them you'll teach them when they get older.

Read my blog tomorrow for hints for 4-5 year old on answering the door, filling the tub, and buckling up in the car.


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