Take care of pets
The responsibilities accompanying owning a family pet should be equally shared with all members of the family. Laura J. Colker Ed.D, early childhood curriculum developer and consultant, recommends that parents supervise interactions between pets and children, but encourages parents to allow their younger children to provide necessities like food and water for the animals in the family. Dr. Colker says that allowing children to share this responsibility assists in the child’s development of empathy, nurturing. Mommy blogger Anna Jordan says of letting her child share this responsibility, “My son loves to help with our dog. At five and a half, he’s completely capable of letting the dog out each morning and getting her food and water. He loves the sense of responsibility and is so proud of himself in his ability to care for a pet. (He also picks up poop in the yard because…Let’s face it…Five-year-old boys will jump at the chance to talk about poop).” Older kids can help walk the dog during daylight hours. On the fence about adopting a pup? Here are seven reasons big dogs are good for kids.
Help with siblings
For parents in the thick of raising young children, this one might be something you’ve naturally fallen into the habit of, out of pure necessity. Toddlers might experience jealousy when a new sibling joins the family, but allowing your older child a role in the process can go a long way to help. Katie Blackburn, blogger at justenoughbrave.com, admits, “I have my four-year-old help out with simple tasks for her little brothers. She is perfectly capable of grabbing mommy a diaper or more wipes when my hands are tied with a little one, and when I praise her for her help, and thank her for showing her little brothers what it looks like to listen and do kind things for one another, she beams.”