Giving your preschooler chores helps build her skills and confidence.

How to Teach Children to Put Forth Effort

by Amber Keefer

Teaching your preschooler to try new things will help build both confidence and level of competence. If he’s willing to give it a try — to put forth effort — the battle is already half won. Giving your little one plenty of support is a good way to encourage effort.

Encourage your preschooler to explore the world around her. Give her some space and let her experiment with her surroundings. Exposing your little curiosity seeker to different environments beginning at a young age can help to instill in her an eagerness for trying out new things.

Model the behavior you want your little one to imitate. Show him how satisfied it makes you feel to complete a task. Give him the confidence he needs to do things for himself. Help your preschooler to believe in himself by first letting him try things on his own before stepping in. Then, if he needs help, do what you can to give him the pleasure of being able to say, “I can do it.”

Give your preschooler age-appropriate chores to do. The Public School Review points out that assigning simple responsibilities will help your child become more independent as she grows. Praise her for her efforts and let her know how proud you are that she did the job on her own.

Support your little one in his efforts. Give him a reason to keep on trying. Let him know that it means a lot to you that he tries. Even if the task doesn’t go the way he wants, tell him he should be proud of himself for trying. Acknowledge even small efforts so that he isn’t afraid to try more. Convince your little guy that you believe he can do it and he probably will.

Ask your child to give it another try. Offer your help as a way to motivate her to try something that didn't go well again. Jean Tracy, an educator and family counselor, explains that preschoolers want to please their parents because they love the attention it brings them. Let your child know that it’s not the task itself but the effort she puts into it that makes you happy.

Recognize your child’s efforts. Celebrate even the smallest of achievements. Encourage him to do his best by constantly offering positive reinforcement. If your preschooler thinks he can do something, he’s more likely to keep challenging himself.

About the Author

Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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