Give Them Practice
The best way to learn anything is through practice, and if your children are never given responsibilities to manage they’ll never learn how to manage them. The most common way to begin this responsibility journey is through chores. Chores teach your children the complexities of running a household and how to take ownership in it. And when they feel like active participants in your household it gives them self confidence.
Hold Them Accountable
Chore charts can be powerful tools if children are held accountable for keeping up with them. Consistent follow-through gives a chore chart or other responsibility teaching tool its power. Whether your goal is to teach your children to do their own laundry, take out the garbage on a weekly basis, or manage their money responsibly, they need you to stick with the program in order to help them do the same.
Let Them Fail
There will be days that your son will forget his homework, and your daughter will forget to pack her soccer cleats for practice. We’ve all done it before, but we urge you to consider what lessons you are teaching them by always fixing their problems for them and never letting them fail. For example, if your child continues to forget their homework and each and every time you leave work to bring it to them they’re learning a habit. Mom or dad will always be in charge of homework so I never need to take responsibility for it. This may be the hardest part, but it’s important to let your children fail at their responsibilities so they can feel the importance of them and be motivated to try harder next time.
As a parent, you want nothing more than to see your child thrive for years to come, and in order to do so its important to teach them the value of responsibility. This will be easier for some children than others, but all will benefit when you put systems in place to nurture this valuable characteristic. For some these parenting tips will just scratch the surface, so feel free to reach out to us for support in helping you instill important values in your children, or to learn more about the St. Barnabas School community.