A Few Pointers in Raising Responsible Children

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The other day I saw a post on Social Media about teaching our children to be responsible adults and thought that is exactly how children should be raised.

Many parents may associate discipline to various types of punishment. But if you think of the definition of self-discipline (Self-discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.) it will help you see that discipline for children is a way of teaching them right from wrong. I am not saying if you follow the following steps your children will be angels, but I hope with your careful guidance they will be responsible adults who can care for themselves.

First, remember children are human like you and will make mistakes or forget things. Also remember, they like attention so try to give them positive attention (compliments or praises when they are doing something correctly). Sometimes before children misbehave they can be distracted either by conversation or by changing the activity. There are other times when the word ‘stop’ or ‘no’ needs to be used; for example, running out in front of a moving car or touching something that is hot.

In regards to completing things around the house, give your children instruction and guidance about the task. Don’t assume they know how to do things. Children like to observe adults, so there is a chance your child may know how to do something and won’t ask for instructions. If you know they have never done something, instruct them on how it is done.

Be an example of how you would like your child to be as an adult. This can cover the use of manners, enjoy doing a hobby, or paying bills. Let your children see how you take care of things around the house. Or have your child help you or participate in something similar. For example, if you are cleaning a room in the house, the child could clean another room.

Last, pick your battles. Don’t control every movement or statement your child does or say. Some things can be ignored. Remember, the child wants to see our reaction. Think back to when your child was a baby and would enjoy dropping things while at the table. (Baby drops something, parent picks it up, and the cycle begins again) This could be the child’s way of seeing if the parent is there to help, but it also shows if the child does something-the parent is reacting.

Plan your reaction to when your child does something inappropriate. What kind of response will you give? Can you ignore this misbehavior? Is it a teachable moment or do you have to say stop! Remember, when your child is doing something right, give a compliment-“It was nice that you did…” or “I am proud of you for….”.