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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Saying “Thank You” Instead of “Sorry”, and Other Tidbits for 2017

Hey folks – it’s already 2017.  Crazy, right!?  As New Years is a time of reflection, a lot of us have probably sat down with pen and paper and after some careful thought, written down a few resolutions for the new year.  After some reflection of my own, there were a few important things that stood out in my mind.  Both good and bad experiences serve to help us grow, and these are a few of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past year that may help you as well.

Tidbits to Make 2017 The Best Year Yet

1.) Family is top priority.  Life gets crazy.  Life gets hectic.  But sometimes you have to let the laundry pile up and dishes accumulate while you play “Pirates” or some other imaginative game with your 2 year old.  These are memories they’ll cherish forever, while that basket of clothes..well..it’ll just have to be patient.  Maybe set aside a family game night once a week to get the whole family together and involved in some fun activities!  If you’re looking for the best games out there – try JMCremps’ extensive collection of board games, card games, & more.

2.) Little goals are key.  Sometimes the mountain of things we have to get done can get overwhelming.  Break everything down into little goals (it might help to write it down) so you can create a series of little finish-lines.  According to a study by Thai Nguyen, completing these little goals actually releases dopamine, which motivates you to take action towards your goals, desires, and needs!  For me, it’s even more satisfying when I can cross it off of a list.  Don’t forget to create a new goal before you’re done with your current one.  This ensures a consistent pattern for experiencing dopamine.

3.) Soak it in.  Vow to live more in the moment this year.  It’s a bit startling to think that each moment is fleeting and unique, and will never come again.  Each moment is precious, so be THERE for all of it.  Be thankful for all of it.  Put your phone down until you’re by yourself.  Show your loved ones that the time you spend with them is very important to you.

4.) Say “thank you” instead of “sorry”.  Instead of apologizing every time you mess up, try saying “thank you” instead.  If you’re late to a meeting with a friend, saying “thank you so much for waiting for me!” instead of “so sorry I’m late” sends out a much more positive message.  Of course there are times when an apology is necessary, but I’ve found that giving gratitude instead an apology to another person leaves both sides feeling better.

5.) Get outside.  This one should be obvious.  Put aside more time this year to get out into the great outdoors and get some fresh air.  I don’t need to quote scientific studies for this one..it’s obvious how much better we feel when we take the time to go do some kind of outdoor activity.  Spending time out in nature can boost your creativity and cognitive function.  Not to mention the vitamin D we get (however little it may be in winter.)

I hope you’re able to use these tidbits to help improve your life even a tiny bit.  Let’s make 2017 the best year yet!