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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Childhood Responsibilities

The most respectful children I know are those who are expected to contribute to the family in some way. They have chores to do and know their family is counting on them. Responsibilities give children a purpose beyond their own pleasure and show them where they fit in.

Responsibilities come in lots of different areas. While I didn't force a lot of household chores on our children, they were responsible to care for their pets and to help out around the house (without complaining) when asked. Sometimes we had chore charts or I'd make a list of things for them to do. But responsibility shows up in different ways for different kids. Some are great at getting ready on time and others might help a younger sibling with homework like a pro. All are signs of growing responsibility.

Making a kid do the same hated chore every day or week only makes them hate it more. Rather, teach him how to do it, let him practice it from time to time, and then assign him a chore he enjoys more. That way, you're teaching life skills, (because one does have to clean toilets, or whatever, in real life) while still respecting his personality. When you see your child shouldering some responsibility, let him know how much you appreciate it. People are naturally inclined to repeat behaviors people praise.

Help your child keep their feet on the ground by giving them some responsibility. It's a help to you and it's an important part of their growing up.


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