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How I'm Teaching My Toddler to Be a Responsible Human Being

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What are some successful ways parents can teach their kids about responsibility? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

We have a 22-month old, and we have a simple rule.

Everything we do for you, you have to help.

  • Need a diaper change? You throw out the diaper. Exceptions made for diarrhea.
  • Just had a bath? Put your soiled clothes in the laundry bin.
  • Need your milk? Hold your own bottle.
  • Want to go out? Take your shoes out of the cupboard and put them on.
  • Bedtime? Prepare your own bed.
  • Want a bedtime story? There's the pile of books, bring us the one you want.
  • Want to eat at the table like a grown up? Bring your own plastic plate and utensils like a grown up.
  • Going on holiday with us? You get to carry your own backpack with a couple of diapers.
  • Spilled your milk/water? There's the cloth. Clean it up, please.
  • Your baby sister needs a diaper change. Bring us her diapers. We've gotten to the point where she could tell the different sizes apart, and she'd remind me that she wears size L whereas her little sister wears size M.

We let her struggle, and will only help if she's unable to complete a task. And if we do lend a hand, we guide and assist her instead of doing the task for her. When she does complete a task, woohoo we give her praise aplenty, and give her progressively harder stuff to do next time around. The goal is to get her to the point where she's able to complete entire sets of tasks independently.

It's been working well so far.

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