As we finish out this month over the weekend I wanted to share one more thought on the topic of responsibilities, this time with an eye to kids. Part of our job as adults is to teach our kids about responsibility so that when they’re adults they can handle the pressures that life (work, family, relationship, health etc.) puts on them as they grow up and become adults.
There are a variety of ways we can teach responsibilities, like talking about ours and helping kids understand why we do things. Traditionally chores have also been used to help teach responsibilities, and they’re a great way of having your kids participate in caring for the house and themselves, and can also help teach financial responsibility and management if you attach a monetary reward to completed chores.
Part of teaching them responsibilities is teaching them how to use the power that comes along with them, and giving them the opportunity to make choices for themselves. One of the ways you can do this is by giving them options (that really aren’t options) to give them some control and power over their choices. For example when they have to pick a snack after school you can give them a selection (at least 3 options) of fruits, vegetables and other healthy options to choose from. If they have homework to do and need to shower before bed you can give them the choice of which they do first or if they do some of the work and then shower and then finish the work.
Yes, some of these choices/options means that you have to be prepared to have a little more variety in your life, for instance buying more options at the food store, but it gives them the ability to make some decisions and you to de-escalate a situation that could be much more difficult to resolve or handle if you just made the decisions for them.
What are your tips for teaching kids responsibilities?