Who hasn’t seen the social media posts about someone’s young child painting over their home’s flat screen TV or playing with their mom’s high-end lipstick? Children aren’t generally careful with nice things because they don’t understand the value of it yet or the consequences. But could we be teaching our kids to appreciate nice things earlier on? Here are some things you can do to instill a sense of care and pride in kids when it comes to their possessions.
Teach Them How To Gently Handle Delicate and Expensive Items In Their Home
Children as little as eighteen months can interact with things in their home like delicate knick-knacks, makeup, pillows, dishes, etc and be taught how and how not to handle these things. Kids are individuals who handle situations differently, and all kids have new, developing impulse control. Still, almost all kids can learn by age four how to mindfully handle objects.
Teach Them Early Money Basics
Kids won’t be able to competently handle money math-wise until they’re a bit older, but young kids can still begin to understand that everything from their playroom toys to their comfy decorative pillows to their food is not free. Make them aware of how you’re paying for things when you visit the grocery store, mall, or do recreational activities. Give them small money rewards for chores and good choices. If they grow up not resenting having to work for money and understanding everything comes at a price, they’re already ahead of people who were sheltered from finances as kids.
Everyone loves a happy baby! Teach your kids how to appreciate the value of nice things like this embroidered baby hat earlier in life.
Trust Them With Their Own Nice Possessions
Designate a few ‘nice’ possessions that children should especially take care of, even something as small as cute cotton pj sets or cotton dresses. Have small personal details that make the objects theirs, like traditional monogramming with one to three of their initials. Yes, they may get that cute white dress dirty, but try showing them how you clean it. Maybe they’ll crack the screen protector on their tablet, but show them how you need to order a new one and how you change it next.
It’s probably not as easy as it sounds, any parent or guardian can acknowledge that, but kids really can learn that kind of careful responsibility even when they’re young. You might want to stick to cute pajamas instead of expensive tablets at first, though.