Social-Emotional Skills for Preschoolers: Part 2
Initiative, Independence, & Responsibility
“I can do it myself!” is definitely one of the mantras of the preschool crowd. As children’s abilities grow and develop, so does their drive for independence. Our job is to provide them with a safe, encouraging environment in which to practice, practice, practice their new abilities. The benefits include:
- building positive feelings of competence and self-worth
- developing perseverance and willingness to take risks and make mistakes
Tips & Activities:
Encourage your child to complete self-help tasks, such as cleaning up spilled juice or sweeping up paper from a cutting project.
Break complicated tasks into small steps and celebrate all the little successes along the way.
Praise the effort, not the task: “You didn’t give up and kept trying until you opened the toothpaste. Way to go!”
Build extra minutes into your daily routines to allow your child to complete tasks without being hurried — such as putting on his own socks, buckling her own seat belt, etc.
Allow your child to brainstorm and try his own solutions to a problem. Resist giving him what you think is the easiest/fastest/best solution.
Help your child make a book or poster of all the things she can do. Read it when she is feeling frustrated or disappointed about not being able to complete a task. Adding photos of your child doing things for herself would be fun, too!
Give your child simple chores around the house such as setting the table, putting away the silverware, watering a plant, or feeding the dog. We’ve been using our Chore Bucket for a year and it’s still going strong!
More age-appropriate chores for preschoolers:
- Dress themselves
- Wipe the table or counter
- Sort laundry
- Wash hands
- Put away groceries
- Pick up toys
- Help with meal preparation
- Fold towels
- Put books on shelf
- Make the bed
Simple Kitchen Tasks for Preschoolers @ Let’s Explore
Let Them Serve Themselves @ Kiddio
Encouraging Independence in My Kids @ Make and Takes
The Right Chore for the Right Age @ Wondertime
Learning to Make Choices @ Preschool Express
I would love your input on children’s books that promote independence and responsibility. Please share!
Coming soon… Part 3: Listening & Following Directions