Daily Archives: March 31, 2017

Raising Responsible Kids

Consistency and clear expectations are key when it comes to teaching your kids to be responsible. Plan out and put on paper the benefits and the responsibilities that come with being a part of your family. Let your kids know exactly what it is they are responsible for and exactly when you want the jobs completed. At this time, explain the benefits of completing the tasks in full and on time, and communicate to them that parents will no longer be issuing reminders. Everyone involved should sign the declaration, and from that point on the natural course of consequence will teach them to get their jobs done on time and in full.
Letting natural consequences teach is incredibly difficult because, first, it does not work immediately, and second, none of us want to see our children miss out on fun things. For the first couple of weeks, your children will probably not get their chores done in full and on time. If you follow them around, reminding them to do their chores, (or nag), you are preventing them from learning how to remind themselves. You have to let them fail if you really want them to learn. And when they do fail, you have to be ready to follow through.
If you have never been consistent with consequences, start out with something you know you will be able to follow through with, a reduction in screen time or taking the phone away for part of the day. If they refuse to complete the task, you can increase the time away from the desired benefit.
Again, you have to be clear and consistent. Confusion and inconsistency can result in a frustrated child who may not feel like he or she can talk to you about it. This can do lasting damage to a relationship. You child may get mad at you in the moment when you take their phone away, but they will be incredibly grateful when they are getting to work on time and completing tasks because they learned natural consequences at a young age.