You Can Never Start Too Young
We began training our kids even before they were old enough to sit up straight in a chair without help . And we always made it great fun. The picture to the left is of Dad showing “the cards” to our youngest child Kristen who was about 2 years old at the time. The cards were mostly hand-made. Each card usually had a picture of an object like a ball, or a dog, and the name of the object printed directly below the picture.
Every one of our kids loved spending time with Dad going through the cards together, and as evidenced here, the older brothers often wanted to help the younger siblings along.
Notice that Kristen is focused entirely on Dad rather than on the cards! All of our kids learned at an early age how to sit quietly in a chair and focus on Dad’s every word. And every child felt the genuine love and attention being shown them in this way on almost a daily basis. None of the kids had any attention difficulties in school and this may be due in part to these simple fun times with Dad and “the cards.”
It Takes a Time Commitment
When our children were young, the cornerstone vehicle that we used to teach our kids about “family” was our “family meetings.” As the kids got older and their schedules became more complicated, we had to improvise on occasion, but by that time our get-togethers were so etched in stone that everyone wanted to be present because they were very special times all together.
Some of the things that we taught our kids during these get-togethers were:
- We staged mock-introductions to adults and how they were supposed to conduct themselves;
- We taught them about respect for the elderly and respect for other people’s property.
- We talked about how the older kids could take advantage of the younger kids and how that could harm their friendships.
- We had crazy times with our family-coined mouse (hamster) Olympics
And we had incredible fun together!