As a mother, I am delighted to hear the pitter patter of feet and squeals of delight from our three-year-old daughter. However, no matter how excited I get I understand that there needs to be structure and learning to shape her into a young lady. We work on a fun and exciting learning opportunity several times a day with her.
Education– We regularly work on learning activities such as counting colors, shapes and her name and address. At three years old, she can write her name and spell it correctly. She can counting beyond twenty five and enjoys playing eye spy to work on shapes, colors and objects. Find activities that are fun for your kids. A few minutes a day go a long way.
Household– Without prompting, she started setting the table properly and well beyond what we would normally put on the table. Ok, she did get the dishes out of the dirty dishwasher but she was excited to help. By allowing her to observe and take in what we do in our home, she has begun her cooking lessons. When we prepare dinner, she gets out her cutting board and chops vegetables with her butter knife (buttercut). Allowing your child to watch and learn is valuable. When she saw the burners turning red, she yelled fire and dropped to the floor and crawled to the front door while yelling for us to get out. She opened the door and met us outside in the right spot. We allowed her to take control and tell us what to do. Give your child simple chores such as putting the napkins on the table or putting ice in the cups.
Discipline– This is one of the hardest things to enforce in our home. With two grown children and a toddler, she often finds way to manipulate us. We have begun using time out, and quite thinking time on the couch. You would think that she was horribly hurt. She tries to tell us that we hurt her feeling and such. We have continued to enforce why she is put there and how long she can think about the rules and being nice. So, far she has done well. We do not believe in the corner or spanking constantly. Simple redirection and time to think is a nice way to discipline your child. Make the methods age appropriate.
Our three-year-old won’t always want to learn and help around the house, so we are taking advantage of it all now. Perhaps, the cleaning and cooking will stay with her for years to come. The discipline will shape and define how she reacts to society.