Teaching children responsibilities can be tough. However, with these Strategies and Tools to Help Your Child Learn Responsibility you may have some guidelines to help you achieve it.
Teaching kids how to be more responsible is a big task. That’s why you need to start smaller and work your way up to the bigger lessons. Learning to be more responsible and accountable at home is a lesson that will benefit your child immensely in so many other areas of her life.
Using a Starter Phone
Kids are starting to ask for cell phones at younger and younger ages. You might not be ready for your preteen to have a smartphone just yet, but you might want to consider getting a starter phone. A device such as a Jitterbug smartphone doesn’t have a lot of distractions, but it gives your child an easy way to stay in touch with you. Using a starter phone teaches your child about the importance of communicating with you, especially if plans change.
Managing Age-appropriate Chores
Nobody enjoys doing chores, but maintaining a household involves handling certain tasks, even when you’re one of the younger members of the family. It’s difficult as a parent to know what chores are right for kids to do, however. One solution is to match chores up according to whether they’re appropriate for your child’s age. Once you have a baseline, you can add or reduce chores in accordance with your child’s maturity level. Remember that there need to be consequences for not doing chores.
Staying at Home Alone
One big rite of passage and measure of responsibility is being able to stay at home alone. But that’s a scary time for you as a parent, no matter how excited your child is. You might not realize that many states have guidelines about when it’s okay to leave your child alone. Be sure to do your own research, particularly if your state doesn’t have a specific guideline. You may want to start with smaller, shorter experiences in which your child stays alone and then work up to gradually longer experiences as your child earns that right.
Making Solid Choices
A key feature of developing responsible behavior is knowing how to make the right choices. But if you never give your child a chance to make small decisions now, she’s not going to have the experience when it comes to bigger choices. And some of those bigger choices may happen when you’re not around. Let your child have practice by teaching and modeling decision-making now.
Follow Through With Consequences
Another part of being a responsible member of society is that there are consequences when a bad choice is made. Younger children might start by learning about the consequences of not taking care of their favorite toys or failing to clean up when they’re supposed to do so. As your child grows older, those consequences might change depending on what the choices are in each situation.
Set Goals Together
As you’re teaching your child about becoming more responsible, it can help to sit down and talk about setting goals. These goals might be centered around earning more privileges or achieving dreams and long-term desires. It’s never too early for kids to learn how to get a goal in mind and then break down the steps to reach that goal. Plus, learning how to do that now gives your child a safety net with you there to help every step of the way.
Responsibility is about more than just setting the table and making the bed. As your child learns to be accountable for her behavior and for the environment around her, she’ll also learn to apply those lessons to the rest of her life.