Many kids think independence means getting to stay up late. But parents know independence means taking responsibility for yourself and your actions.
Essential to getting kids to be responsible is establishing a routine, says parent educator Joan Fishburn. This way, children know what they’re supposed to do, when...and parents don’t have to nag them.
Routine also boosts children’s confidence. It provides a solid framework within which children can try out new skills.
Doing these things will also foster self-responsibility:
- Don’t do for children things they can do for themselves.
- Show children how to do age-appropriate tasks, like laundry and making their own school lunch.
- Don’t insist your child do a task exactly as you do it. And don’t redo what children do in order to do it better.
- Be responsible yourself. Be a model of good habits and self-discipline.
- Set reasonable limits and be clear on your expectations.
- Allow children to make decisions, even when they’re not the choices you would make.
- Don’t bail kids out. Allow them to experience the consequences of their decisions.
- Become a sounding board. Listen to your child’s uncertainties as he tries to make decisions. Don’t criticize.
- Provide unbiased information your child can rely on.
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