Here are three tips that can help you instill responsibility in your child:
1. Start young with appropriate responsibilities. You can’t expect your child to easily learn responsibility once they are grown. Begin now with picking up toys, delivering things to other rooms in the house, or whatever chores you deem appropriate so that it can become a good habit for them.
2. Try to set a good example and model the type of behavior you expect. Let them help you as you do chores around the house. No one likes to do chores; it can be difficult not to grumble as you do the dishes or put the laundry away for the one- hundredth time. However, little ears may be listening, so model the behavior you want them to have when they are completing their chores. Allow them to help even if it takes a little longer; point out the positives to getting those chores done.
3. Have appropriate expectations and give praise when chores are accomplished. However, try to avoid rewards. These are skills you want your children to carry throughout their life. They shouldn’t be given an ice cream cone just because they asked to help you carry in the groceries. But you do want to recognize the work that they have done. Let them know you are proud of them and why. For example you could say. “I am so proud of you for setting the table without being asked.” This will boost their self-confidence and help them develop a sense of ownership in the task. It may also help them take initiative in other situations.
1. List three chores your child could do right now. Are those chores appropriate for their age and ability level?
2. Think of an appropriate praise and consequence if your child does or doesn’t get their chore done. Be prepared to stick with whatever you decide.
3. Talk to your child this week about responsibility in a way that makes it something they want.
Discussion Question: What chores do you let your child do around the house? Leave a comment in the box below.