As parents we want nothing more than for our children to grow up and become responsible and productive members of society. But many parents don’t understand that it is their job and obligation to teach these traits to their children.
Many parents believe that the responsibility falls on the school system, the day care provider, or even their church family, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. It is up to them to lay a foundation that others can build upon in the future.
Although many parents may not believe it, teaching children to be responsible isn’t rocket science as there are countless ways to do so; many of which are almost effortless.
Since parents are busier now than they ever have been before, enlisting the help of their children only makes sense. Not only will they be getting the assistance they need, parents will also be laying the foundation of responsibility.
Here is an overview of how parents can teach their children to be responsible by designating age appropriate household chores.
0-2 years of age-It’s no surprise that a newborn baby up until he reaches two years of age can only depend on his parents. Although chores cannot be assigned to a child in this age group, they can learn though demonstration. As parents perform regular household chores and/or tasks it’s important that they explain to their child, regardless of their young age, what they are doing and why they are doing it. When a child witnesses adults and/or older siblings performing chores, they will see that it is a family shared responsibility instead of something that is only done by their parents.
3-5 years of age-At this time in a child’s life it’s crucial that parents implement chores and/or daily responsibilities so that they’ll understand that they too are an important member of the family. This age group can be assigned simple tasks such as picking up their toys or emptying the trash. In addition since children are usually introduced to colors at this age, parents can have them assist when sorting the laundry as this is the perfect teaching opportunity where they can learn their colors by performing a hands-on activity.
6-8 years of age-Children in this age group are obviously mature enough to assign chores that they were not able to do before. Designate dusting, setting the table, clearing the table after meals, and enlist them when carrying the groceries into the house. Not only will they be learning responsibility they will also start to feel good about themselves because of their performance.
9-12 years of age-Preteens are capable of handling a variety of tasks without constant supervision. Parents can assign vacuuming, mopping, folding and putting away the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, and assist with yard work. They are also at an age to where they can make simple meals for themselves such as a sandwich or a microwavable snack.
13-18 years of age-Teenaged children are developmentally capable of completing most household chores with little or no supervision. Parents can send them to the grocery store, have them prepare meals, wash the family car, start and complete all the laundry tasks, regularly maintain the yard, clean major household items such as appliances, create and maintain a grocery list, and even help their younger siblings with homework when needed.
There are countless ways to teach children how to be responsible but the easiest way is through the designation of household chores or tasks. Not only will they learn responsibility they will also have a sense of pride for their hard work, which ultimately produces great self esteem.