Raising Responsible Kids
Whether it's more chores, babysitting younger siblings, dating, or driving, there are simple steps you can take to successfully prepare your kids to take on more responsibility and to guide them to be conscientious adults.
Before giving your child more responsibility, here are some qualities you should be encouraging your children to develop:Truthfulness.
Your child should be able to show that he can be truthful with you. Talk to your child about the importance of trust, and emphasize that their truthfulness will allow you to trust them with more responsibility and privileges.Saying No to Peer Pressure
. Observe how your child responds to peer pressure. If your daughter gives in easily to the demands of others, she may not be ready for situations where you will not be around to supervise or guide her – like driving and dating.Showing Responsibility with Current Tasks.
Before giving your child more responsibility, make sure he is already taking care of tasks you have entrusted to him. Don’t give him more chores until he completes his current list; don’t let your daughter date until she proves that school is her main priority and she can successfully complete her homework.
Once your child is developing these qualities and is showing maturity and growth, it is important to be clear with your expectations about new responsibilities. Here are two keys to keep in mind:Give Guidelines.
After your child has demonstrated the above qualities, provide clear guidelines. If you are leaving your son in charge of his younger siblings, give hard and fast rules about what activities are allowed and what kind of behavior you expect from him and his siblings. If your son or daughter is starting to date, let them know what qualities you feel are important in a possible significant other and what kind of activities are acceptable. If your child is starting to drive, be clear about whom (if anyone) is allowed in the car with him, how far he/she can go, etc.Develop a Relationship
. Make your relationship with your child a key part of this process. Let her know that you expect her to be communicating with you about possible dates. Tell your son that you need a certain amount of notice when he requests to drive the car. This will allow you to talk to your child and impart important wisdom.
Every child is different, so make sure you adapt to your child’s growth and maturity as you guide them towards more responsibility.