Helpful Tips For Raising Responsible Kids

Sometimes it can feel like we’re just grasping at straws when it comes to raising our children right.  Teaching your kids responsibility can seem extremely difficult, but these simple tips will successfully help you raise responsible young adults with minimal stress and frustration on your part.

Tips For Raising Responsible Children

Before we start, I just want to preface by saying that if you’re a stay-at-home parent, you are absolutely NOT allowed to feel guilty for having your kids do chores that you are capable of doing yourself.  The point of being a parent is not to cater to your child’s every need, but rather to teach them how to fend for themselves so that the transition from responsible child to responsible adult will be painless.  That being said – here are some helpful tips for teaching your child to be responsible.

1.)  Start them early!  Try to start teaching your child responsibility at a young age.  Toddler age is best.  If you wait too long to start teaching your child – it’ll only confuse them and make it a more painful process.  So don’t wait!

2.)  Teach with your actions.  Don’t just TALK to your child about responsibility – show them  through your actions!  Use the word “we” a lot, like saying this when you’re done with dinner: “Okay..now we’re all going to put our dishes in the sink.”  Ask loved ones and babysitters to do the same so that there’s no confusion.

3.)  Let kids help you.  Kids actually like to help!  They like to feel useful and important. Make them feel like they’re needed and that they have an important role to play by asking them to help!  You’ll be surprised at how willing they are.

4.)  Edify and thank your children.  Positive reinforcement is key.  Say things like: “I’m so proud of you for doing _____!”  or “Thank you for _____!”  They’ll develop a sense of ownership for these tasks and it’ll build their confidence.  It’ll also help them take initiative when at school or in other situations.

5.) Give them praise, time, and self-confidence rather than rewards.  There is a time and place for rewards, but this is not it.  Give them your time and boost their self-confidence with praise and positive edification instead.

6.)  Teach about consequences by enforcing rules.  Consistency is key for this point.   If your child refuses to pick up their toys, calmly let them know that as a consequence, they won’t be able to play with these toys the next day if he leaves them out.  This makes it their choice and reinforces the value of responsibility.

7.)  Provide a structured routine with a positive end.  Kids thrive on structure.  Instead of offering rewards, set a positive end to their routine.  For example, your child must eat breakfast, put their dishes in the sink, and brush their teeth before playing their favorite game.  The game is not the reward, but rather the end of the routine.

8.)  Recognize effort rather than perfection.  Your child may not make their bed perfectly, but it is the effort involved that counts.  Don’t expect perfection!  Eventually they’ll learn the value of a job well done, but right now what counts is that they’re making a good effort.

Instilling responsibility in your child may seem hard, but what about parenting is easy?  Teach your child responsibility now, and it just may end up being one of the greatest gifts you could give them.  Follow these tips to help raise your child into a responsible adult.

Check out our Parenting Resources section at JM Cremps for books designed to make your parenting adventure a little easier and more enjoyable!

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Celebrate Your Child’s Individuality With Online School or Homeschool

The advent of the internet has opened up an entire new WORLD of possibility to our society.  While in the past students have been limited to the options the particular school they attend has, with the internet there is a world of information virtually at their fingertips!  Many are utilizing this incredibly valuable resource in the form of online school or homeschool.

Celebrate Your Child's Individuality with Online or Homeschool

Perhaps your child has been diagnosed with something like ADD or ADHD. A child with these tendencies may not do so well in a public school, because they’re not so easily able to conform to the system. Perhaps their mind wanders a bit more than the other children, or they have a hard time sitting still. Arguably one of the greatest benefits for online school and homeschool is the ability to form your curriculum perfectly to your child’s particular needs. You can specialize their learning to be more hands-on and interactive. No matter what kind of learner your child is, they will thrive under this type of education!

Another awesome benefit of online learning is the ability to study almost any subject out there.  You have access to such a vast array of teachers and books. There have been many times that I was unable to study a particular subject at school, simply because the school didn’t have the funds to fit it into their curriculum.  With online or homeschooling, your options are nearly endless!

We’ve all witnessed the way a child’s brain works. They’re focused for MAYBE 10 minutes, and then a bird flying outside the window or a stray thought that wandered into their head will throw the entire train right off the tracks, and it’s a struggle to get them motivated and back on track again. Of course it’s important to have goals for each day, but how wonderful for them to be able to take breaks as often as they need? Even as an adult, I’ve found that I am at my most efficient and focused self when I give myself even a short break every hour or so. Creating their own schedule allows your child to absorb those nuggets of knowledge so much more thoroughly, and wonder of wonders, actually enjoy the process!

Of course there are some benefits to public schooling, such as certain programs like theatre or the important aspect of having peers and social interaction, but these are easily overcome as well!    Public schools are often willing to work with you and allow your child to take a particular program if you don’t have the resources available.  There are also many independent programs, classes, and communities outside of public school that your child could get involved in.  A well-rounded education is a great thing!

Celebrate Your Child's Individuality with Online or Homeschool

Let’s celebrate the fact that we are all vastly different individuals with vastly different ways of learning.  We are all so lucky to be born in this age with so many opportunities and options available.  Take advantage of it!  If you’re currently looking for materials for this year’s online school or homeschool curriculum, you’re not going to want to miss these Learning & Discovery Kits, Books, Woodworking Kits, & more!  Truth be told, I get a little envious thinking how much more fun and interesting school would’ve been for me if I had just had access to materials like these and to the varied curriculum that online school offers.  Even if your child is happily content in public school, these books and kits are an excellent way to supplement their education, or just give them a fun, educational activity to do on a rainy fall day.  So let’s cast off, and embark on this adventure into education!

Book Review – Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

Parenting books are a dime a dozen, but good parenting books are a rare find.  This one is a true gem and is a must read for parents raising boys.  This book is written by acclaimed author and pediatric doctor, Meg Meeker M.D.  Dr. Meeker is the author of several books on parenting and parent/child relationships.  Her books have been highly acclaimed by parents the world over. Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Meg Meeker, MD

In Boys Should Be Boys, 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, Dr. Meeker reminds parents that there is no greater blessing (or responsibility) than raising strong and healthy young men.  This book helps parents enable today’s boys to become mature, confident, and thoughtful men of tomorrow. In the book, we are reminded that boys will always be boys.  That means that they are rambunctious, adventurous and curious.  They climb trees, build forts, playing tackle football, and push their growing bodies to the limit as part of the rite of passage into manhood.  However, in today’s society our sons face an increasingly hostile world that doesn’t value the high-spirited, magical nature of boys.

In a collective call to let our boys be boys, Dr. Meg Meeker explores the secrets to boyhood, including
• why rules and boundaries are crucial– and why boys feel lost without them
• how the outdoors is still the best playground, offering the sense of adventure that only Mother Nature can provide
• the essential ways to preserve a boy’s innocence (and help him grow up)
• the pitfalls moms and dads face when talking to their sons
• why moody and rebellious boys are not normal– and how to address such behavior
• how and when the “big”questions in life should be discussed: why he is here, what his purpose is, and why he is important.

Parents are blessed with intuition and heart, but raising sons is a daunting responsibility. This uplifting guide makes the job a little easier.  Get your copy today and pass it on!

 

How to Help Your Child Get Organized

When your child is old enough to start cleaning their room or begin attending school, organization skills can be crucial in helping them succeed in school and in their careers later on in life. To help your child get organized, you can develop a daily routine that teaches them how to maintain the order of their room and how to complete certain tasks on time, such as their homework. Continue reading this guide to learn about the many ways in which you can teach your child skills that will help them become more organized.

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Maintain an organized household with belongings in their place. When you have a designated place for each belonging, your child can become accustomed to the same type of organization.

  • Consistently put your belongings back into their designated spaces; such as placing shoes back into the coat closet, placing clean dishes in the kitchen cabinets, and putting books back onto the bookshelf.
  • Remind your children to do the same.  Even though many times it is easier to just pick up after them, resist the urge to do so.

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Develop a routine that requires your child to clean their room regularly. This will help teach your child the habit for keeping their personal space organized.

  • Tell your child to clean their room nightly before bedtime by having them place their toys and belongings in the appropriate spots.

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Develop a list of basic organization guidelines your child can follow. Since children may have their own idea of how to keep things organized, a basic to-do list will help enforce a sense of organization in your child.

  • Place basic tasks on the to-do list; such as making their bed, picking up toys from the floor, and separating clean clothes from dirty clothes, then allow your child to complete these tasks in their own way.
  • Allow your child to organize their room according to their personal preference. This will help instill motivation and a positive attitude in your child in regards to staying organized.

Teach your child time management skills. When your child knows they must complete tasks within a specific timeframe, they will learn how to develop organized methods for completing those tasks.

  • Give your child a specific time frame in which they must clean their rooms or finish their schoolwork.
  • Remind your child when tasks are to be completed or when appointments must be met. For example, inform your child they must finish cleaning their room within 15 minutes of dinner being ready.

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Help your child make lists of tasks that must be completed. Lists can help your child get organized for large-scale projects or tasks. For example, if they must create a diorama for school, have them make a list of steps that need be done in order, such as obtaining a box for the diorama in step 1.

  • Show your child how to cross off completed steps from the checklist so they feel a sense of accomplishment when tasks are finished.

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Perform certain activities at the same time on a daily basis. This will teach your child how to stay organized in regards to developing routines or rituals.

  • Have your child perform their homework daily after school has ended while sitting at their desk in their bedroom.
  • Eat dinner with your family at the same time every night, and send your child to bed within a specific timeframe on a nightly basis.

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Praise your child when they are staying organized. Positive compliments and praise will encourage your child to continue staying organized.

For other excellent parenting tips for both moms and dads, check out JM Cremp’s Parenting Resources page.

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual – How to Help Your Child Get Organized. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

A Small Dose of Summer Boredom Can Be a Good Thing

It's ok to let your kids be bored once in a while.  Their creative side will thank you.
It’s ok to let your kids be bored once in a while. Their creative side will thank you.

Do you remember as a kid flopping on the couch on a lazy summer afternoon “bored to death”?  Or do you remember sitting on the front stoop drawing pictures in the dirt with your toe because you couldn’t find something exciting to do?  Maybe your version of “bored” manifested itself in trying to get a rise out of a younger sibling, although I’m sure none of us have ever done such thing.

Kids today suffer boredom just as we did, and if you have kids of your own, I’m sure you’ve already heard this summer’s version of “Moommmmmm….I’m sooooooo bored!”   When I uttered those words, my mom would just ship me outside or give me work to do.  You can guess how often I dared to utter the “B” word.

For today’s kids it seems that the boredom strategy is a lot different .  With today’s constant reliance on devices with screens combined with a culture that pushes to fill our children’s every waking moment with planned activities, I can’t help but think we are allowing those kids to skip over a very important learning process.

Remember when you were bored?  How did you deal with it?  I remember reading, drawing, calling friends to organize a baseball game, or scouring the neighborhood for someone to play with.  Often the boredom didn’t last long and my “filler” activities sparked my imagination and fueled my creative side.  Looking back, it was being bored that taught me how to look within to find and develop the hobbies and talents that make me, well – me.

So this summer, when your kids utter the “B” word, let them stew in their boredom for a while.  If that doesn’t work, you can always give them a job to do.  Either way, they’ll learn a valuable lesson and they’ll get to know the real kid within.

PS – If you want to “suggest” fun activities that your kids can do during those lazy summer days, this blog is loaded with dozens of ideas.  Our backyard obstacle course is always popular, but if you poke around a bit, I’m sure you’ll find something that will pique their interest.