Every parent wants their child to be responsible – so what do we need to do?

Responsible Children

Children become very responsible when given responsibility! My daughter was shown how to make her own lunch and has been doing that from the age of seven. All children can settle their own fights – albeit with a helping hand ‘ how can you sort it out so you are both happy? I know you can think of something’. Teens can be given an alarm clock and take responsibility for getting up on time – or facing the consequences of being late (no phones or technology should be going to bed as it impacts on sleep). This is easier parenting and there is less wear an tear on parents so why not try it!

How to help your child become responsible, confident and competent

A responsible parent however treats their child with equality and respect and encourages them to make their own decisions and to live with the consequences. For a child can become remarkably responsible when they are given responsibility.Get your children making their own lunches, all ages can settle their own fights, and a 10 year old can use an alarm clock and be responsible for getting up. Life can be a lot easier on parents, and it is a more effective and responsible approach.

What did you need when you took on a new task? Encouragement.

Time for training and guidance is essential, but worth the time investment! Set a time aside to show your child how to make their own lunch and you’ll be surprised how interested they are, especially if they are involved in menu planning/shopping; ‘as long as it’s healthy’ is my mantra! They love to learn, and you need to capitalise on that. Lots of encouragement enables children to learn, while criticism or ‘put downs’ makes learning threatening and dries up their efforts. Remember, they are children, and ask yourself ‘Are my standards too high?’

Focus on effort and learning will continue

As children take on new tasks (always better if they choose), a parent needs to be in the background, their best friend, encouraging them, showing and helping when necessary, letting them try for themselves and gradually withdrawing, pleased to see them growing in independence. Let children do it themselves, as much as possible with your help and encouragement.

Raise Self Esteem

Think of some new task you could help your child achieve this weekend to make life easier when back at school. Examples could be: Children dressing themselves, washing their teeth, tie their shoes, ride a bike, and wash their hair, cook, and bake. Young children can get their own breakfast if you set it up i.e. (low cupboard, with plastic bowls, cereal in ‘easy pourer’ and small jug of milk in fridge. The secret with any new challenge is to ‘size it down’ and set age appropriate challenges your child can achieve. The result is them feeling good about themselves, increased competence and confidence and higher self esteem.

What are you doing for your children that they could do for themselves?

What new responsibility could you begin to introduce this week, maybe with a star chart to encourage.

Criticism dry’s up effort

An absence of any criticism of your child’s efforts while they are learning, then just provide the opportunity, give lots of encouragement, see their effort ,notice the improvement and learning will continue!

Enabling children raises their self esteem

  • Give your child lots of opportunities to learn new things
  • Children have a natural drive to learn and parents need to capitalise on it.
  • Children love to learn as long as there’s an absence of criticism.
  • Time for training & guidance is essential for a child to learn something new.
  • Children become responsible, when given responsibility.
  • Parents need to challenge children
  • Encouragement of children is essential when they are learning