Teaching Children Responsibility
September 21, 2009 12:04 PM Subscribe
Please help me nip another parental failing in the bud. I want help my children be more responsible.
I have a couple lazy parenting practices that I'm not proud of. They aren't doing my kids any favors and I wish to correct them.
My first-grader and third-grader have never been expected to clean their bedroom. I want to begin making this a requirement. Should I first show them how it is done and then allow them to clean it on a certain schedule? I'm not sure I want to give a monetary reward for completing the room cleaning. I think taking away a privilege would be more effective. Is this a good idea? How do you go about it with your children? Or, if you are not a parent, what were your parents' expectations?
They do pick up their toys in other rooms and outdoors when told, but they must be told. We have no chore chart or expectations for daily or weekly chores. When the mood strikes, or if we are having guests, we will ask them to do something and they will do it. I usually clean their bedroom because it is allowed to become a huge disaster and at this point I prefer doing it on my own because I am frustrated by the mess. I will give them tasks such as putting the Legos in the bin but I'm not sure they know how to make a bed, or pick a room from start to finish. Or, maybe I just think they can't. What should I expect at this age?
Also, I wake them up every morning for school. Should they have an alarm clock? What kind of morning routine is best to instill responsibility? I set out their clothes and prompt them what to do next. They don't even have to think for themselves in the morning because mom and dad are giving orders every step of the way. This doesn't sound very good but they are not babied. They have other responsibilities and we don't tolerate whining or excuses, we just haven't made them clean up after themselves with any kind of regularity.
I never had regular "chores" as a kid. My mother cleaned my bedroom and woke me up for school. She probably dressed me until I was in the fifth-grade. I don't want to repeat this pattern and time is slipping by. I wish for them to be more responsible and self-directed.
I feel like I should know how to do this but I want advice on how to best go about it.