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5 Ways To Teach Your Toddler Responsibility

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Now that Levi is two, it seems like he grows and changes more each day. I love watching his personality bloom and seeing the world through his eyes. He’s so curious and full of energy (especially at 5 am), but he is also learning to be more independent and a bit stubborn! With baby sister on the way, we are doing our best to cherish these next few months as a family of three and we are also trying our best to teach him responsibility.

5 Ways to Teach Your Toddler Responsibility

Lead By Example– I’m the world’s worst about leaving my clothes on the floor, which in turn teaches Levi that it’s ok. Leading by example is highly important in teaching your toddler responsibility.

Quiet Time- We don’t ban screen time in our house, I know that’s controversial – but we do allow educational programs and games. However, quiet time is also imperative in teaching your toddler responsibility. This teaches a few things: first- that they can’t always get ‘their way’ by having the tv/tablet/phone 24/7. Secondly, it teaches that there is a time and place for quiet time and learning. When Levi reaches preschool age, he will already be in the habit of sitting down with a book and concentrating on something without distractions. Right now, this only works for about 5-10 minutes but as he gets older, we’ll expand the time.

Explain To Them- If I have to put a load of laundry in, or feed the dogs, I explain what I’m doing and let Levi observe. If we are getting in the car and he doesn’t want to get in his car seat, I explain that he has to because it keeps him safer.

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Positive Reinforcement- While we of course discipline him when he is doing something wrong, we also positively reinforce him when he does something good. Simple things such as putting an item back where it belongs when we ask him to, throwing his trash away, etc. We clap and say “yay, Levi” which shows him that he is doing what is right and encourages the same behavior in the future.

Assigning Age Appropriate Chores- e-cloth was so kind to share the amazing infographic below outlining age appropriate chores. From wiping up spills with the e-cloth Cleaning Pad, to throwing his own trash away – Levi loves to help and even though sometimes it takes extra time to show him what to do, in the end it teaches him responsibility.

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Monday 29th of January 2018

Thanks for sharing these ideas! We also don't completely banish screen time. It's allowed at certain times during the day for a limited time (15-20 min). My 2 yr old loves doing chores, too. It's been an easy sell because she just wants to help. Her favorites are moving laundry from the dryer to the basket and helping to unload the lower rack of the dishwasher. I'm going to start getting her help "washing" the dishes soon. She'll probably just end up playing in the water, but that's ok! I like setting the expectation now that she should be helping out around the house. Then, hopefully, it won't seem out of the blue later on.