We all have things we want to teach our kids before they go off to school. Sometimes we want to teach them the things we were never taught when we were kids, or even what was okay then, but isn’t now.
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There are a lot of things that a toddler/preschooler needs to know, however tax returns aren’t one of them. Yet.
I personally want to teach my son how to use the potty. It’s a hit and miss right now, but I told him that after the pull ups are gone, its back to underwear.
My husband and I have different views on what we want to teach our son before the age of 5, however, my husband wants to get our son into baseball.
My husband even got our son into his favourite show, Dragon Ball.
Going back to the topic on hand, here are my top items to teach your kids before the age of 5.
Teach Your Kids Tip 1 – Potty training
Now you might think that some people have potty training down pact. Let me tell you that, as a mom struggling with mental health, I do not.
This is my son, covered in poop, after I found him in his room playing in his diaper.
I was shocked at the sight, not to mention, I only had a shower.
Mind you, this was while I was reading the Oh Crap Potty Training book while this was going on. I wanted to get him potty trained before his 3rd birthday.
That never happened. He refused to go to the bathroom consistently, and only went when he felt like it. Now he is getting better at going more often, but still has difficulty going when we remind him.
Teach Your Kids Tip 2: Names
I personally think that the next item to teach your kids before the age of 5 is spelling their name. If they are able to spell their name before kindergarten, then it saves the teachers a little bit of time working on their name spelling.
My son is just learning to recognize letters, but can proudly say his name. Especially when we call him “baby” or “munchkin,” he likes to say in a loud voice, “my name is not baby! It’s Lukas!”
Lately I have been using a preschool method like this one. Lukas and I have been trying to get him to work on his letter, but he has an attention span that is comparably to a sloth.
Teach Your Kids Tip 3: Healthy Eating
We all wonder what our kids like to eat. Like, for example, my son just loves eating chicken nuggets, pancakes, grilled cheese, and anything that is fried. When we buy McDonalds, we try to make sure that he has apple slices instead of fries. Its the little things, right? Anywho, he is so picky, that he refuses to try new food. Its always, “I don’t like it,” before he has a chance to try it, or its where he has tried it once before, and wants it again, but decides he doesn’t like it.
A tip I learned from the parenting course I took, was that if your child is helping you cook, they might be more inclined to actually try the food, because “I helped cook.” We even went to the point to get him his own sink, so that he could feel included in washing dishes.
When we include our children in the things we do, they feel like they are a part of the family. They love to spend time with mommy and daddy, even when its as simple as cleaning the house.
Teach Your Kids Tip 4: Boundaries
Everyone knows that toddlers and other small children know no boundaries. Sometimes it doesn’t help that during play, some parents or other family members keep playing rough or tickling, even after the child says stop.
Boundaries are a lesson that should be taught from when they turn one, or even when they know a few words. This is easy to implement when you start asking simple questions like, “may I change your diaper” or even, “Can I give you a hug.” Asking these questions, or similar, teaches your child that you are respecting her boundaries, and asking her/him permission to do such things. As they get older, they love to get into peoples faces, thats when you need to start implementing other peoples boundaries.
Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with how often my son constantly comes up and repeatedly asks the same thing. Its frustrating, I get that. However, we as parents don’t always get the luxury of having the time or space to separate ourselves to cool down. Which, brings me back to the point of teaching about other peoples personal bubble.
To teach them about the personal bubble, you have to stop them doing the action, i.e. jumping on you, and tell them to stop and ask first. Keep doing that until they start doing what you ask of them. Some kids might be able to catch on right away, and others might not catch up even after a few tries. It’s about consistency.
Teach Your Kids Tip 5: Discipline
When a toddler acts out, we run to time outs and other miscellaneous ways of discipline. Like when our child acts out, we use time outs a lot. We, Kiefer and I, were raised with the medieval way of discipline which was spanking, head knocking, and a wooden spoon. We didn’t like those ways, so we don’t use them. Not to mention, in Canada, its illegal to spank or hit a child with anything.
If a toddler or preschooler hears no, they throw tantrums. Sometimes they throw tantrums in the unlikeliest of places, like in the store, because they aren’t getting what they wanted. When this happens, a good rule of thumb, is either ignore the child, or forget the groceries and take them home. Now if you are like my family, where you don’t have access to a vehicle, we find a secluded corner and stand there until he is finished.
There are a lot of books about positive discipline, and this one was recommended to me by my support worker. It talks about power struggles to avoid that come with bedtime, eating and using the potty, it teaches the appropriate skills needed to excel in social interactions, as well as seeing- misbehaviour as an opportunity to teach non-punitive discipline–not punishment.
I believe that there are many different ways to teach our kids before they start kindergarten. These items that I have listed are just some the items that I believe would be beneficial for kids to know. Also, everyone learns differently, what might work for me, might not work for you. So always try different methods.
What about you? What methods do you think should be taught? Let me know in the comments below!