{Teaching Older Kids Responsibility}


Previously I shared with you how I am teaching my 4 year old daughter responsibility (if you missed it, click {here}). I’ve got to say, it really is an ongoing process when they are so young. They just don’t understand the importance of picking up and taking care of their responsibilities. It does take a lot of work and consistency on your part as a parent. It may mean, getting off the computer to handle your business. It may mean putting the movie on pause, while you attend to your child. Or maybe putting the dishes down in the middle of washing them to make sure your child understands you mean business.

Basically, what I’m saying is that many times (especially when they are getting used to something new) it may take being “inconvenienced”. I know for me, sometimes it took getting my daughter back in her chair during dinner time while my food sat there on my plate getting cold. Talk about frustration! Soon enough though, she understood that we all ‘sit’ at the table to eat dinner together.

Keep focused on the greater goal. You are teaching your children much more than ‘being responsible for cleaning their room or doing their homework’. You are teaching them how to take pride and care of their belongings. You are teaching them discipline and work ethic. So again, stay focused on your goal and most importantly- be consistent.

If you think teaching a toddler is hard, try working with a teen, {smile} it’s a whole different level!!! Here is a schedule that I made to help my son with taking responsibility.

Laying out their day for them, helps them to see how much they can accomplish with their time.

The schedule helps my son remember his responsibilities without the old, “{with a dumb look of confusion} oh, I didn’t know I was supposed to do that.” Now, I simply ask, “wow, are you already done with your schedule?” and he can only respond with “yes, no, or almost done”. Much easier than reminding him why taking a shower is necessary daily!!

To ensure that he is picking up his room, we’ve implemented the {Collazo} family Action Plan….

Meet {The Destroyer of Hearts}….

My son named the green bin "The Destroyer of Hearts" because his heart is destroyed when the green bin picks up his favorites...lol

I worked with my son one day cleaning his room (with him) making sure he knows where everything belongs. Once he was aware of what a clean room looks like (not that he didn’t already, but with him… I have to go through the process step by step to avoid the future excuses). I introduced him to the green bin, later named {The Destroyer of Hearts} by my son.

The rule is as follows: Every day when I do my 20 minute cleaning challenge, {The Destroyer of Hearts} will visit him room. Whatever is on the floor or thrown carelessly (as everything is usually thrown) will be chomped up by the {Destroyer of Hearts}. It will remain there for a full week and it can be earned back with good behavior and commitment to responsibilities.

The first item to be eaten by {The Destroyer of Hearts}: My son’s Jordans.Let’s just say that he is learning his lesson really quick! He did ask this past weekend if he could have the Jordans earlier than the weeks length. His argument:

“I felt sad because I did not leave them on the floor, my sister went into my room and took them. And I have proof because my hat was out of place too!”

My response, “I guess we will have to ask Chai’anne when she wakes up. However, as I recall, you and I have spoken before, that you had to lock the room when you left to school.”

Today was the first day he got his sneakers back and I asked him, “Did you learn anything from {The Destroyer of Hearts}?

His response: “The lesson I learned is to lock the door at all times!

{laugh} not quite the response I was hoping for. But nonetheless, it’s his response.

We’ll keep working on this and I will keep you updated on how his schedule and responsibility chart is going.

So what do you do around your house to teach your children responsibility? Any ideas? I’d love to hear from you!

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Posted on October 5, 2011, in CLEANING, HOME & ORGANIZATION, HOME MANAGEMENT, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, ORGANIZING, PARENTING and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love this especially the schedule. Because i seem to always repeat myself. One thing i have done in the past which i havent done in awhile lol and may sewm a bit cruel is if its on the floor its garbage yes garbage even my nephew has felt that one lol but i like the destroyer better i need to try it lol

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