Like many children, your daughter has grown conveniently deaf to
reminding, nagging, scolding and lecturing. Save your words and
energy for a more effective strategy. Children can't learn to be
responsible unless their parents give them responsibilities. If you
are constantly reminding and nagging about a responsibility -- or
sometimes doing the task for your daughter -- you are still assuming
Daily checklists are a good way to teach kids responsible work
habits. Adults use them. Some of us even have multiple lists -- one
for the office, another for shopping and still a third for home and
family chores. We use checklists to organize our busy lives and to
make sure we meet our responsibilities. Here's how you can teach
your daughter to do the same:
Sit down with your daughter
and decide which responsibilities she's ready to handle on her
Define her responsibilities
clearly. It's easier for children to plan and complete tasks
if they understand what's expected of them.
Make a list of all her daily
responsibilities. Leave a couple of blank lines at the
bottom of the list for things that come up at the last minute.
Make multiple copies by hand or on a copy machine.
Spend a minute or two,
once a day, to have her mark the items she needs to take care of
that day. As each item is accomplished, she can feel good about
checking it off!
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Go over the list when
there's still time for her to take care of forgotten items -- an
hour before bedtime, for example. After using this checklist for
a few weeks, many tasks, like putting her bike away, will
probably become second nature.
Be consistent. Make sure
everyone understands that responsibility is important in your
Feel good about giving your daughter duties. Sometimes parents
feel guilty about asking their children to help out at home. But
there are important reasons why children should share the family
work load. It builds a feeling of family. Even more importantly,
teachers say that children who have learned to accept jobs at home
are better able to accept being in charge of their own learning.
When children help out at home, they develop a sense of
responsibility that will carry over to school… and later life.
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright © 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.