What responsibilites are appropriate for a 4 year old?

Angela - posted on 01/26/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




Every morning I battle my 4 year old. I am so tired of it and I need some help/advice on how to remedy this.

My son is 4 1/2 and is very capable of dressing himself, brushing his teeth, brushing his hair--albeit a comb-over, even putting his snacks in his lunch box. He also can pick his cereal out and wash out his bowl. But mornings are a constant battle for he and I. He wants me to help him with everything. Even if I don't actually do anything, he just wants me in there with him while he does it. On a bad day, if I try to speed things along and pick out his clothes for him, it gets ugly! He is very moody, the littlest thing can set him off. I never know what the morning is going to be like, so we tread lightly with him in the a.m.

My question is...is it too much to ask of him to do all these things on his own? If not, how do I go about making him do these things on his own on a consistent basis? Again, he is more than capable of doing them, and on good days he does all these things without a peep. Also, I am not opposed to helping with a thing or 2 but I want him to start being responsible for his daily care on a regular basis. What works one day to motivate him won't work the next. We have tried sticker rewards, charts, marble jar, timing him, making it a competition (can you get dressed all by yourself before mommy or before the timer goes off?) I have also taken things away, including pending playdates. Is his resistance simply his way of manipulation, or am I asking too much of him?



Amanda - posted on 01/26/2012




I don't think you are asking too much if you know he is capable of doing those things unassisted.

My 2 and 3 yr olds are responsible for putting their used cups and bowls in the sink, putting rubbish in the bin, their dirty clothes in the wash, tidying their rooms and putting toys away after they have finished with them.

Have you tried asking him to do one thing by himself and then you help him with the next thing?

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