3-7 Year Olds
Children in this age group are so much fun!! This is the time when they have such an enormous desire to learn. This is the time to diligently begin to teach them the principles you want them to hold onto for life.
One of the most important things for parents to do during this stage of life is to allow toddlers to shadow you in everything you do. For instance, if you let them “help” you now in the kitchen when you know this will also yield a giant mess to clean up, it will be easier to get their help later. Instead of thinking of the extra flour all over the flour, cabinets and extra stools dragged over to be able to reach, think about the fact that this is training time. Even when it is more work to let them do things with you, it teaches them so many things. This is their training ground.
While working together, teach them songs or see if they can count items as you go or ask them questions about things going on with their lives even if you already know the answer. (What did you talk with Grandma about on the phone? Did you find the toy you were looking for? Would you like some help cleaning your room after we are done here? Can you tell me about the story we read this morning?)
During this time period, we get to start teaching our kids about things like table manners, sharing, apologizing, consideration for others, cleaning up messes, staying out of danger, eating healthy food, not whining, using our strengths for good purposes, etc.