The opposite of depression, misery, addictions and negative behavioural choices is purpose, connection, acknowledgement and a healthy sense of independence. Imagine if we could teach these valuable life skills to our children, from a very young age and within our home environments! Cindy Glass, Director and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres says that the good news is that you can, and indeed, you should, and it can be done through the teaching of responsibility within your home!
Cindy highlights the following benefits of teaching a healthy sense of responsibility in children.
- It helps children believe that they are capable and worthy.
- It engenders feelings of achievement and upliftment.
- It increases independence, which is a wonderful and necessary life-gift.
- It helps increase confidence and leadership skills.
- It teaches children the skills that they will need to live more successful adult lives.
- It encourages self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. This will also include self-care.
Cindy goes on to say “It is important to note that responsibilities within the home need to be age appropriate. Younger children can be tasked with helping to make their own beds, putting dirty clothes in the wash-basket, packing away toys, brushing their own teeth and hair and other simple-to-do tasks. Older children and teenagers can and should make their own beds and keep their personal space in order. In addition, they can be tasked with helping with cooking, washing dishes, making their own school lunches and doing their own homework.”
There is a fine line between insisting, nagging and fighting with our children to become more responsible and helping them to embrace the process of learning from the experiences of becoming more responsible within their homes.
Cindy gives the following do’s and don’ts to consider” consider:
- Don’t expect or insist upon perfection. Mistakes are inevitable and they are excellent opportunities for learning and problem-solving.
- Do praise, acknowledge, express appreciation and encourage.
- Don’t allow excuses. Teach your children to own their choices and actions.
- Do set boundaries with consequences that you stick to.
- Do set the example of what it is you wish your children to become. They are most likely going to do what you do and not always what you say!
Cindy concludes by saying “It is so important to remember that, as parents, you are your child’s first and longest-lasting teacher. Make it count by embracing the need for independence and responsibility. Start within your home. It will not always be easy, but with perseverance, lots of positive encouragement and appreciation, the results will be well worth it!”