We all want to live in a world where everyone, instead of shrugging off their responsibilities or sweeping them under the carpet, takes charge of them and clean up their own messes. You do too, right? A great person once said, ‘be the change you want to see in the world,' and in the words of the other, ‘charity begins at home.' So, depending on how things are going, do you think your child is going to become a responsible individual when he or she grows up?
While we do want our kids to turn into responsible human beings, seldom do we act upon our intentions. What’s even more difficult is that we do not even realize what exactly we need to do in this regard. Well today, we are here to share with you a few tips that will help you raise a responsible child and hopefully he or she will turn out precisely how you want. Here is how you teach discipline and responsibility to your child.
#1. Start Early
You can’t just wait for your child to get to the teen years, thinking you would impart wisdom upon them when they are able to understand things better. By then, it would probably be too late. Being responsible and facing the consequences of their actions is something that they need to be taught from a very young age. It’s not even preteen years; think toddler. Being responsible is second nature; it is a way of life that takes time to imbibe. Also, you do not want to wait till they have adjusted to a specific lifestyle as that would make things a lot more difficult for you.
#2. Begin With Helping You
You can’t just impose tasks and responsibilities upon your kids, thinking that it would help. They would most probably crumble under pressure. The best way to start is by involving them in your tasks, letting them help you even if it makes it worse or take longer. Inviting your child to participate in your chores make them feel valued and teach them to take ownership of the house that they live in and take pride in. Apart from responsibility, this will also teach them the importance of teamwork which will come in handy once they grow up and survive in the world on their own.
#3. Be A Role Model For Your Kids
More than what you tell them, your kids learn from what they watch you do. So if they see you running away from your responsibilities, then that is what they will learn, and if they see you fulfilling them and acting responsibly then that is what they will do in their life. It’s not just you, but your kids learn from everyone they see, so ask the other members of the family to follow suit.
#4. Instead Of Ordering, Try Asking
Ordering a kid to do something is the worst idea you can get. Definitely, this will help you get things done but do you think it will make your child responsible. We tend to develop negative feelings towards the tasks that we are forced to perform. So, instead of barking instructions at them to do something for you, try teaching them the importance of playing their part in running the household. Give them the opportunity to contribute to the common good, and soon they will learn what significant place they hold in the home.
#5. Praise Their Efforts
Learn to praise your kids for their efforts, even if they do not convert into fruitful results. Praise and rewards help them understand the difference between the good and the bad and also assists in building self-esteem. According to research conducted by the renowned University of Iowa, an average 2-year old toddler is subjected to more than 400 negative statements on a daily basis whereas the count for the positive ones barely goes beyond 30. Therefore, it is imperative for you to craft a positive aura in your house where the efforts of your child aimed at something good do not go unacknowledged or unappreciated.
#6. Avoid Rewarding For Child
Rewarding your child may be the quickest way to get your child to do something for you, but it is not always the most effective one, especially when you are trying to raise a responsible child. There is a time for allowances and praise, and being responsible isn’t it. Never assume that rewarding your child will make them responsible. While some kids react well only when there is a proper reward system in place, for others, praise, spending time with the parent and a boost in the self-confidence is enough. If you offer rewards for every household chore or any other responsible thing that your kid helps in, you will never be able to get him or her, do one thing in its absence. So, keep rewards for tasks that go beyond the regular household responsibilities that you expect your child to perform.
#7. Make Them Aware Of Consequences
You do not want your child to learn that their actions have consequences the hard way. You can begin the process at an early age. Teach them that consequences are not a punishment but rather an end result of their action, inaction or behavior. For instance, to get your child to clean up the mess after working on an art project is by informing them that they will not be able to play with their friends until they do what’s expected of them. These are not punishments, instead of these consequences that they have to face when they do not fulfill their responsibilities. You may not want to see your child sad or hurt and may be itching to solve their problems but will only make them dependent on you. And this brings us to our next point.
#8. Never Rush To Help Them In Difficult Situations
A parent’s job is not to bail their child when he or she is in a pickle, but merely to help them get out of it. We understand that it is hard for every parent to see their child in trouble and such circumstances, most of us rush to help your child. But if you do that, then your child will keep assuming that you are going to bail them out every single time they are in a rut, and this will never let them take responsibility for their actions. This is how you teach them to be independent.
#9. Never Assign Blame
One of the best tips for raising great kids we can give you is never blaming them for anything. When things go south, an instant automatic reaction that most of us have is assigning blame to others as if doing so will keep the problem from reoccurring and absolve our responsibility for the failure. What blame, in fact, does, in reality, is make everyone defensive and inclined towards watching their back when things go wrong the next time. It also takes our focus away from making amends. When you blame kids, their mind starts looking for reasons that it was not actually their fault and they become less likely to accept responsibility. This is perhaps the most common reason that children lie to parents or hide things from them.
#10. Teach Discipline Through Structure And Routine
As funny as it may sound to you, but kids thrive on order, given that you teach them that from a very young age. Besides offering rewards or prizes for fulfilling their responsibilities, build a routine that gets them a positive result. For instance, your child must brush teeth, get ready and have breakfast before finally getting to watch TV. Here, watching TV is not offered as the reward for completing all the tasks, but as a part of the routine, the result.
#11. Never Expect Too Much
The last piece of advice we have for you here is never to expect too much from your child. You cannot expect your 5-year-old to make the perfect bed or your preteen to take the perfect care of your toddler. Criticizing them for not achieving what you expect from them will only spark negative emotions in them. So, always recognize a job well done, and when that is not the case, then help them improve.
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They say raising a child is a difficult task, but we say it’s not. Anyone can raise a child; what’s difficult is raising the child the right way. With the aforementioned tips, we hope you will be able to bring up the apple of your eye the right way, and he or she will turn out exactly how you wish.