Raising Independent Children – Five and Six Year Olds

feed a pet

Five and six year olds are finally out of the toddler stages and enjoy planning!  They can also be real talkers and like to discuss what is going on around them.  They are eager to learn, but can get frustrated if things don't come easy enough.  At this age, they usually prefer one to two friends at a time, instead of a large group.  This is the age when they can be a bit bossy! Since they are capable of doing a lot more at these ages, chores and responsibilities should change.  Introduce them to money and let them save and spend.  Have them save for a bigger purchase and it will give them a sense of accomplishment. Children that are five and six should be able to: Clean/Straighten their own room Take a Shower (teach them how to wash their body and hair) Vacuum small areas Dust Empty garbage cans (with a little help) Set and Clear the Table Help make their own lunch Help load and empty dishwasher Clean sinks Know how to use a microwave Water plants Learn … [Read more...]

Raising Independent Children: Three and Four Year Olds


Three and four year olds are usually independent by nature. They want to “do it” themselves even though they may not be able to finish the task. They may find it harder to transition at this stage and may need to be warned of changes before hand (we are going to the store in 5 minutes). They readily accept suggestions and can follow simple directions. They enjoy helping with chores and this is a good time to start a simple chore chart for them. When giving them a choice, let them choose between two things (i.e. you can wear the red or the blue shirt today). Three and four year olds may become more picky at meal times. Decide how you best want to handle these situations. If you make a rule, such as, you must try at least two bites of everything, stick with it. Children that are three and four should be able to: Dress Use potty by themselves Learn to brush teeth (but may need some help still) Pick up toys Say prayers with help Make bed by straightening covers Make a … [Read more...]

Tips for Raising Independent Children


What is our responsibilities as parents? Certainly we must love, nurture and protect our children. However, we must also make sure that our children grow up to be responsible and responsible adults and this means teaching them the skills that they will need as they mature and grow. In order to raise children that will be able to eventually live and thrive on their own, we must create a balance. Raising independent children does not mean an environment where there is too much freedom and not enough parental guidance. On the other hand, if you make all the choices for your children, they will never learn to be independent. Here are a few tips for raising independent children: Don’t Do Everything for Your Child I know this is hard, very hard, however, as a parent, we need to teach our children and let them try it on their own. It may be faster for me to tie my son’s shoelaces every day, but if I never teach him how and then let him try, he will never be able to tie his laces. … [Read more...]

The Snow Fort


We moved from New Jersey to Utah this year. Everyone was laughing at us! They envisioned huge snow storms and cold weather for us. Not so! In fact, New Jersey has had colder weather and much more snow than Utah this year. I think we brought the normally milder New Jersey weather with us. While my friends out in New Jersey as shoveling sidewalks, we are enjoying an unusually dry and warm winter. That being said, we still did get enough snow for my son to build a small snow fort with his buddies. He was very proud of his accomplishment. There are hidden dangers, however, when building a snow fort and parents should be extra vigilant as deaths have occurred.  Make sure that any children are supervised when building or playing in or near a snow fort. Plus, make sure the snow fort is destroyed and not left as a danger for other children when you are not home. … [Read more...]

Teaching Kids About Money: Managing Clothing Purchases for Teens and Tweens

Managing Clothing Purchases for Teens and Tweens

I wrote this post five years ago. I have recently updated the information to include new insights into our family's clothing budget plan. This plan will work for both girls and boys! I believe that teaching kids about money is the responsibility of a parent. I have two daughters, ages 9 and 14.  It is not too hard to guess that they like to shop for clothing!  Before I knew what was happening, their closets and drawers will filled with clothing that they seldom wore.  It always seemed that they would like something at the store, but then, somehow, the clothing became unwearable when they brought it home. I started establishing some rules for clothing purchases and here is the process we follow at our house. One in, Two Out For every one item of clothing brought into the house (purchased or as a gift), the girls must get rid of two similar pieces of clothing that they own.  I have started with the one for two option since they have too many clothes right now.  When there are … [Read more...]

{Parenting 101} Role Models

Role Models

Why is it important that children have appropriate role models? Children learn by both observation and imitation. Unfortunately, there is many negative role models for children to emulate in today's society. Negative Role Models A number of years ago, Madonna made a splash in the entertainment world. A friend of mine, who had a young daughter was concerned when she announced that her favorite singer was Madonna. Not only did she want to sing Madonna songs, but she wanted to dress like her as well. My friend decided not to let her daughter dress in such an inappropriate manner and even would change the radio station when a Madonna song was on. It didn't take long for her daughter to lose interest. Today, young children have their own television channels and often adore the actors and actresses that are featured in these kid friendly shows. It is too bad, that these actors/actresses feel the need to "grow up." Meaning that they need to drink, party, take drugs and wear clothes that … [Read more...]