Top 10 Ways to Raise More Responsible Children
By Mark Brandenburg
1. Start them with tasks
when they're young. Young kids have a strong desire to
help out, even as young as age 2. They can do a lot more than
you think, if you're patient and creative.
2. Don't use rewards with
your kids. If you want your kids to develop an intrinsic
sense of responsibility, they need to learn the" big picture"
value of the things they do. They won't learn that if they're
focused on what they're going to "get."
3. Use natural consequences
when they make mistakes. If they keep losing their baseball
glove somewhere, let them deal with the consequences. Maybe they
have to ask to borrow one for the game. Maybe they have to buy
a new one if it's lost. If you rescue them every time they screw
up, they'll never learn responsibility.
4. Let them know when you
see them being responsible. Specifically point out what
you like about their behavior. This will make it more likely to
continue to happen.
5. Talk often about responsibility
with your kids. Make responsibility a family value, and
let them know it's important.
6. Model responsible behavior
for your kids. This is where they'll learn it from. Take
care of your stuff. Try to be on time.
7. Give them an allowance
early in their life. Let them make their own money decisions
from an early age. They'll learn their lessons in a hurry.
8. Have a strong, unfailing
belief that your kids are responsible. They'll pick up
on this belief and they'll tend to rise to the level of expectation.
9. Train them to be responsible.
Use role play and talk to them about exactly what kind of behavior
you expect from them. It's hard for kids to be responsible at
times when they don't know what it looks like.
10. Get some help and support
for your parenting.
It's hard to know sometimes whether you're being too controlling
or too permissive as a parent. Talk to other parents, read books,
join parent support groups -- whatever will help you feel like
you're not alone.
MA, CPCC, CSC, is an author, speaker and certified relationship
coach. He has worked with individuals, teams and families to improve
their lives for more than 20 years.
He is the author of a number of books for men, including 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers. Mark
coaches parents from around the country through weekly telephone
coaching sessions on balancing their lives and improving their
parenting. He runs workshops and gives presentations for fathers
and for parents that are enthusiastically received, as well as
teleclasses for parents at MarkBrandenburg.com.