Little Water Wasters: What to Do When Your Youngster Doesn’t Understand the Meaning of Conservation

Has anyone else spawned a water-waster?  If I give Audrey a little watering can and ask her to water the flowers, she’ll dump the whole thing on the pavement.  She enjoys flushing the toilet.  If she washes her hands, she turns the water on full blast and splashes water everywhere.  Then she cries when I won’t let her wash her hands every five minutes.  One day I wondered why it was eerily silent in the bathroom, and I found that Audrey had taken all the towels out of the cabinet and soaked each one in the sink!

How have you talked to your kids about conserving resources–at a two-year-old level?  Audrey will beg to water the plants or wash her hands, which seem like innocuous enough activities for a youngster–but how do I encourage her to do those things with the proper respect for Mother Earth?  Or do I just need to put up with the waterworks for a few years, then sit her down as a teen for a comprehensive lecture on ecology?