Thursday, January 3, 2013


I was on pinterest today, and one of the people I followed had pinned a bunch of things that your kids should do by 'x' age. One was skills they should learn, another was at what levels their manners should be, another was age appropriate chores. And I was also reading a blog posting on Free range Kids about a child how had a list on her door of all the things she can do alone (like making her lunch, getting the mail, etc).

I got to thinking about the things that I expect from our kids. They have just turned 3 and 4, and I have the following expectations:
  • Decent table manners (use a napkin, use silverware, clear your dishes when you are done, ask to be excused)
  • Be kind (this is a work in progress with Maggie. If she doesn't get what she wants, she tells the other person that 'you aren't my friend' and screams. I used to just tell her that wasn't nice, but now I feel like she is old enough to learn my life mantra - treat others like you would like to be treated. We are getting there.*)
  • Say please and thank you.
  • Help care for the family pet (Cam give Henry his dinner at night and lets him out in the morning)
  • Dress yourself in the morning
  • Undress yourself at bedtime
  • Say excuse me when others are talking
  • Try new things (foods, activities)
And then there are the skills that I think they should have:
  • Swimming (Cam is starting REAL swim lessons on Saturday. Mommy will not be in the pool!)
  • Riding a bike (both kids mastered it with training wheels, I think this is the year we work with Cam on taking those off).
  • Cooking - Maggie makes a great peanut butter and jelly sandwich
My goal is to have kids that are self-sufficient in things that make sense and are age approriate. I see the pride in Maggie's face when she gets herself dressed 100% on her own. And Cam loves helping with Henry. Many nights, Maggie insists on helping with dinner. I love it all. Is it slower? Yes. But I know that they have a great sense of accomplishment when they can do things themselves. And when they help each other, that's taking it to a whole other level for me. An issue in our house is the fact that Maggie can't reach the light switches. Aaron is constantly turning lights off - so if Maggie has to go to the bathroom, the light is usually off. Maggie will yell for help, and I used to be the one running to help, but now I usually hear Cam say 'I'll help you Maggie!'. Too cute and a perfect example of what I'm striving for. Kids that help themselves, but also help others.

* Does anyone else with 2 (or more) kids find themselves babying the youngest? I used to have big discussions with Cam about why we do (or don't do things) and with Maggie I tend to just say 'DON'T DO THAT'. I'm trying to be better, but I'll often realize that I think she is too young to understand. But she isn't. At 3 she knows that she doesn't like to be yelled at - so she shouldn't yell others, right!?

1 comment:

HereWeGoAJen said...

I hate those Pinterest lists. So much of that stuff depends on your kid's temperament and abilities and stuff like that.