Foremost, says Allen, “Parents need to start early.” You need to encourage your child to accept responsibility as part of growing up. Children must learn to “do their share.”
It’s also good to start early in the school year. The more children are responsible at home, the more they will be responsible at school.
Allen’s five simple tips to boost responsible behavior are:
- Never do for children what they can do for themselves. Take time to teach them how to do things independently. Assist with homework, but don’t take over.
- Give children household responsibilities. Assign simple tasks like taking out the garbage or clearing the dishes. Work up to more complex jobs like washing dishes. Make sure they—not you—pick up after themselves.
- Post a weekly list of chores. Use pictures for young children, and have a place for each child to check off completed tasks. After you check your child’s work, place a star or sticker on the chart.
- Don’t remind, nag, scold or complain when children don’t do their chores. Explain what’s expected and the consequences of not doing what’s expected. Allow consequences to happen.
- List activities that are allowed after work is done—a snack, outside play, television, computer time. This will motivate your child to complete tasks quickly. It also keeps a balance between work and play.
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