Younger kids are learning how they fit into the world.
Do to others what you would want them to do to you.
Children at this age are exploring everything! They see, touch, run and jump. They test boundaries and make connections. They discover their unique place. Show them how to treat others. Explain to them that others like to be treated in a similar way they want to be treated. Encourage them to make decisions that benefit themselves and others.
Helping children make wise decisions is a critical goal for this phase of life.
Consider these ideas for helping young children make great choices:
- show them how to jump, hop, throw or catch in a way that is pleasing to others and not painful
- draw with them
- dream up fantastic stories and join in their make believe games
- use characters and stories to illustrate wise or unwise choices
- imagine out loud how another child may feel in specific moments to teach empathy
- don’t simply say what is wrong, but give positive and constructive alternatives
- use repetition when teaching phrases to be remembered
- be clear with appropriate boundaries and consequences
- demonstrate cause and effect relationships (ie. lying hurts friendship and fun)
- use words they understand and explain words they don’t know as visually as possible
- laugh…a lot
- attach words to describe how their actions affect others
- allow separation during emotionally heated moments, then come back later to review and make sense of the situation
- show the difference between preferences and moral absolutes
- fists can hurt, but so can unkind words
- model deep breaths and prayer in difficult situations
- model, model, model (ie. forgiveness, thoughtfulness, mercy, kind responses, etc. will be mimicked by these young children)
- be cautious of shaming children into “right” choices
- celebrate great choices
Lord, help me guide them well.