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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Preschool Pointers - 24: Use Their Age


Four year olds find themselves very preoccupied with time. When is tomorrow today and why ins't yesterday tomorrow. How long is March, and how can we do TWO things in one word (visit Nana AND have special days in March). Why do we get older every day? We feel the same. What's the difference between four and four and a half? Their friend just lost a tooth, does that mean she's seven instead of four? Time is a problem.


Well, since none of us can stop time, and we're about to spend a large amount of it explaining it over and over again to the little ones (talk about meta), may as well use it to our advantage, and force them to do things on a timeline.

For instance, my kids know they are turning four and a half in a few weeks. When that happens, they're to start making their own beds. (We're practicing now.) At five, they'll start helping me (more) with the laundry. Each age is associated with bigger freedoms and bigger responsibilities, all in a positive light. Cooking, dishes, bathrooms...all these await you, my little dears, and you are dying to get there (joke's on you, they suck). But at four and a half, you will clean up your own toys every day and make your beds. Why? Because time is passing by, and we're all getting older here.

I've found attaching chores and announcements to aging has a few purposes. First, they get used to the idea, second, they accept that the status quo will change, third, they have a vague idea of when that will be and can enjoy their free time accordingly until then. It makes it a lot easier (at least for me) to get them on board for their new responsibilities, if I announce the change and give it the arbitrary reason of 'because you're turning ___ and will be a bigger girl."


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