Developing a sense of responsibility is a step-by-step process that will benefit your child throughout their lifetime. As children develop, it is important to teach them responsibility in ways that are appropriate for their age. From simple, one-step chores, to applying for their first summer job, kids can feel valued and proud when they accomplish a task. Below are some ideas for age-appropriate responsibilities that you can consider for your kids at home.
Preschooler: Your preschooler is the perfect age to begin learning the skill of responsibility. Begin with giving your preschooler one simple expectation at a time such as cleaning up their toys, feeding a pet, or getting dressed in the morning independently. Avoid making the expectations complicated or several steps long. For example - if asking your preschooler to feed your pet, have the food and dish ready in advance.
School-Age: During the school-age years, more complex chores can be introduced. For example, you can expect your school-age child to be responsible for keeping their room clean or being responsible for daily assigned chores in the house or yard.
Teenager: In addition to their responsibilities at home, your teenager may want to consider a summer job. Summer jobs can teach responsibility in many ways like sticking to a schedule and managing money. Introduction of a curfew is another way to foster responsibility with your teen.
Regardless of age, your child may not always be excited to meet your expectations of managing responsibilities. Remember to always be clear with your child about what your expectations are. Be positive and encouraging during the process. Responsibility met with positivity can raise your child's self-esteem. Positive encouragement, such as praise or a reward, is always more effective than punishment. However some consequences may be necessary if expectations are not met, such as a time-out from a certain electronic device.
More helpful advice about fostering responsibility in your child can be found at www.healthychildren.org