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Build Self Esteem and Responsibility In Your Preschooler

Preschoolers love to help. This makes them feel important and needed. They love to be productive and feel like they are making a contribution, in other words helping makes them feel special. When you think about it we all love to help. There is something about helping others that makes us feel better about ourselves. We stick our chest out and sit up taller. We become more aware of the center of our chest known as the heart center. We breathe deeper and relax more and feel a sense of contentment. Children need to experience these feelings also. It contributes to their emotional and social well being and they feel that they matter.

As parents and educators we can contribute to these feelings that help our children emotionally. All of my students that are so called “misbehavers” or “disciplinary problems” are recruited as helpers and leaders. They help me set up the classroom for music and movement classes. Things like moving chairs and desks to create more space may seem like hard work to adults but to children they see this as helping. Unpacking my suitcase where I house my boom box, cds and stamps and other items is such a delight for them. They make sure they place everything just so on the table I will be using.

Believe it or not it is a privilege to help the teacher in students’ eyes, even with older children when I ask them to pass out papers and booklets  or to lead the class in an exercise, they are very happy to do so. No student is too young either. In one school where I teach everyone in the school from infancy to kindergarten, students excitedly and enthusiastically raise their hands to be chosen to be the helper for the day. In some schools there is such a demand for it that we have to keep a list.

As teachers and parents here is a simple list of some things we can do.


  1. Sort laundry
  2. Fold laundry
  3. Stack magazines and papers
  4. Recycle cans and bottles
  5. Clean cat liter box
  6. Clean baseboards
  7. Dust( use old white socks, they will love seeing how much dirt is picked up)
  8. Black out name and address to prevent identity theft


  1. Check the weather
  2. Set the table for breakfast, lunch or snack
  3. Lead in an exercise, verbally or physically
  4. Help another student
  5. Teach another student
  6. Board Monitor
  7. Inspector( this student goes around the classroom and makes sure everything is where it’s suppose to be.)
  8. Paper Towel Monitor( gives each student a paper towel to dry their hands)
  9. Pet Monitor
  10. Ball Carrier( for outdoor play)
  11. Door Monitor(holds the door as class is leaving and again upon reentering the class)

There are many, many more just use your imagination. Another good idea is to ask them what would they like to help doing. Our little ones have very bright minds and a lot of times come up with things that we never would have thought of. It’s spring cleaning time so it’s an excellent time to get children’s help. Parents that have farms have been using this technique for a long time. They know that it helps build character, discipline, responsibility and the start of a good work ethic.

Please try this at home or school with your little ones and let me know how it turns out. If you do this now what do you do and how do you feel this helps your child. I’d love to hear from you.

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