Spam me with your *aspirational* parenting habits for your 3-5 year old

@charles1014 Begin teaching financial literacy EARLY! Chores does not equal allowance because everyone contributes to a happy healthy home. Allowance comes from helping others, engaging in self-care/healthy habits, or taking initiative to plan something fun for the family. Allowance is then separated into categories: spend, save, and give. Give is donated annually at Christmas time to a charity of their choosing. Save all the way until their 16 and hopefully that will get them a car! Spend is self-explanatory. Spending money will also be used to teach them basic budgeting, such as purchasing extra snacks that we would not normally buy and that is just their own.

Some of this is beyond a 5 year olds ability but I think the earlier you start the better and you can just build on it as they age.
@dhebi I think teaching saving early on to really young kids needs to model the reward of the saving too. Just telling them “you’ll have enough for a car at 16” is not really something a 3-5 year old can understand. My plan is to start with short saving goals, like save X for one week, and you’ll get Y extra, but really let them make that decision and only try to guide them to the higher reward from saving.

Over time the saving periods/amounts will change and we’d introduce the idea of a really long term saving. When they’re old enough I would then tell them about their JISAs and pensions which we and family members contribute to, and show them how the value increases faster over time thanks to compounding.
@dhebi Agree, I like to model housework as something everyone does because it's collaborative, needs to get done, and is a care task for the while family, not a punishment or something that needs rewarding to do.
@leematthew1234 On the other hand, it takes time and labor and should be valued just as much as “paid” work. Maybe I’ll draw the line at being respectful by picking up when you’re done vs. cleaning and or maintaining/repairing things.
  1. Reflection on day or gratitude discussion at bed
  2. Invite her to participate in at least 1 cooking task per day.
  3. Invite her to at least 1 home management task per day- laundry, dishes, etc
  4. Rough play and gross motor play at least once daily
  1. Reflection on day or gratitude discussion at bed

We made this part of our dinner routine each evening (where some people would say grace). We each share something we're grateful for, and invite our son to do so as well ("Did you have something you wanted to share?").
@charles1014 One of my aspirational goals is to have my kiddo deciding or in control of as much of her life as possible (without causing some negligent scenario obviously). If you sort r/toddlers by top of all time, there are some gems there I plan on incorporating towards autonomy.

One of them is where the dad rolls a 6 sided dice and the kiddo gets that many tokens for the day, which she can then turn in to him for special snacks or screen time (1 episode of a show for example). This gives the kiddo some autonomy over stuff that needs to be limited, and the randomness of the dice keeps it interesting.

Edit: people seem to have a lot to say about the dice thing, so I went to find the OP. Please remember do not brigade! But, here is the complete context for those who are interested:

Lots of parents there talk about using timers for their kids. Especially asking them how many more minutes they want to play before they switch tasks, so they feel autonomous over the end time (while as the parent you can still set the timer for 5min or 10min and they can't really tell lmao).

A recent one referenced the improv comedy rule "yes, and" and applying it to playing with your toddler. Again since toddlers are autonomy-obsessed, they love being 'yes, and-ed,' because their idea gets used and you validate it's value by building on it. (This one is aspirational for me especially as I'm not great at pretend play)

Other than that, for me it's:
- Three healthy meals a day (no fast food)
- Toddler has autonomous access to healthy snacks she can grab herself
- My LO moatly picking out her outfits, dinner items, etc
- Going outside every possible day
- Exercising together every day
- Visiting a semi-structured educational place at least twice a month, like a museum or the zoo
- Limiting screen time to 1hr/day at a routine time (ex between outside time and dinner) with parent involvement
- Read books and do arts/crafts every day

Some of these we are already doing at 1.5yrs, which bodes well, but we'll see how sustainable it is when she is 2+. Some of them have to wait until she is older, but that's okay. Many will be easier when she is older too.

Great question btw
  • Limiting screen time to 1hr/day at a routine time (ex between outside time and dinner) with parent involvement

The parent involvement is key for us. We're keen for screen time to be a social activity rather than something he goes off to do on his own.
@hassahm I like a lot of these but I'd be somewhat concerned that the dice thing is close to gambling. I haven't seen the dice thing studied or anything, but the use of some types of mobile games in young kids was found to spark gambling type highs and lows before
@leematthew1234 Low key I feel the randomness of the dice is what is so genius about it. Dad didn't decide she gets 1 or 4 or 6 tokens, quantum mechanics did. No power struggle dynamic, no toddler begging dad for one more snack or one more episode, no blaming a parent for being withholding.

I think there's quite a bit of daylight between rolling a 6 sided dice once a day vs. playing a gatcha game/clicker game (or opening loot boxes in Overwatch, or LOL Surprise dolls, or Kinder eggs, or packs of Pokemon cards, or packs of baseball cards, and so on and so forth...)

Also, are we never supposed to play board games with our kids, because dice are random? How many dice rolls does it take to go from fun board game rules to cognition destroying gambling mechanics?
@hassahm The "quantum mechanics" part IS the gatcha games part. Also hacks to avoid power struggle dynamics is avoiding valuable teaching on boundaries/emotional regulation. It's perfectly OK and indeed extremely important that toddlers learn boundaries and know parents can be withholding. There's nothing wrong with saying "you can watch 2 today and then we're all done".

To the board games comment - do you play board games every single day with your child? Because otherwise its fairly irrelevant to compare the two as you're talking about a gambling element embedded into every single day. There aren't many board games even available for toddler age, its mostly the Hapa ones that are mostly around colour matching. The reward of board games is that you win the game, not gaining a reward outside of the game. The winner of a board game doesn't get more TV etc.

Look ultimately you are going to do what fits your family I'm not trying to come for you personally, I'm just adding to the overall discussion on the random die rolls for other parents who may be reading/considering. You had a ton of extremely positive points and I'm only being nitpicking on one, the rest are fantastic
@hassahm Couldn't you just set a limit of 5 tokens a day, or whatever number you want? Nobody's choice, that's just the way it is.

I just can't imagine days where you roll a 1 and your kid is grumpy about it ALL DAY.
@katrina2017 Sure, I suppose! Honestly it's arbitrary either way. I think what matters is both the parent and the kid have agreed on the rules and are going to follow them.
@yahwhshua Sure!

Right now, it just looks like going on walks together. We leave the house, walk a few doors down to the local elementary school and use the playground equipment, then walk back. She's 1.5 so her stamina is limited, she usually insists I carry her home.

We got a soccer ball we kick around sometimes. (Mostly I kick it. She trips as often as she kicks, so... It's a work in progress.)

My husband and I do some bodyweight exercises at home. She will do squats with us. We each so 50 squats, she does a random number and then we use her as a medicine ball LOL. If we say "Do you exercise?" she will grin and do a few squats.

If we do sit ups, push ups, leg lifts, she loves it and is an ideal fitness coach. She giggles and tries to mess with me, but then if I stop she signs "more" and how can I say no?

I lift her as a weight to exercise my arms, but I'm female and my stamina for that is low. My husband though plays a "crane game" with her where he holds her by the hips/legs and has her move toys from shelf to shelf, forcing him to lift her up and down. It's good upper body exercise for him and core exercise for her.

Honestly beyond this I have no idea what it looks like. I hope we'll go hiking and biking as a family in the coming years.

My husband and I are both obese, we come from families where nearly everyone is obese, so we both want to exercise as much as we can motivate ourselves to. We are the type to let a gym membership rot our bank account and never go, so we are considering hiring a personal trainer to keep ourselves accountable. Having a kid around is a major motivating factor - we do lots of stuff for her benefit that we would never do for ourselves.

In any case, I want my kid(s) to see us exercising regularly, and I want it to be a family activity. Young kids are pretty responsive to modeling behaviors (Montessori philosophy and all that) so I'm really just counting on the power of observational learning and play in these early years.
@yahwhshua My almost 3 year old and I do yoga. I have a good morning yoga book and a goodnight yoga book with I think about 8 poses in each book. She LOVES it and it’s really good for her coordination and balanced, especially when we do poses that focus on one side of the body at a time.

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