When it comes to teaching the concept of responsibility to children, it is a challenge for Singapore teachers and parents alike because it is a concept that is hard to explain. While you can tell your child that it involves them completing their tasks or chores, being responsible also deals with children being able to make their own choices and doing their tasks with confidence. Avertable, this will reflect in his choices in school and later on, his life.
However, how exactly do you teach your children how to be self-motivated to do their responsibilities at home?
Here are some tips to help you get started!
How Responsibility Works Hand in Hand with School Performance
Instead of chasing your child to complete his homework, your child should be responsible to pursue his studies on his own without much prompting. A responsible child will know that it is to his benefits and interest to work hard at his studies, identify his weak subjects and find teachers to help him in school. He or she will be able to balance his own timetable with homework and playtime at home without you hovering in the background.
Identify Your Expectations
You should explain to your child what you expect from him at home. If you want your child to clean up his study table after he completes his revision, you should show them a photo of what you want them to do.
Show your child how to clean his tables and how it should look like. If he does not know how to do something, like how to organize his notes or books, show him how to do so. By showing how you want things done, your child will be able to build his sense of responsibility.
Teach the Consequences of a Particular Responsibility
When your child fails to do his daily tasks, you should let them know what are the consequences for it. Let your child know that for every action, there is a consequence especially if he does not do it properly or do it at all. Explain the consequences of both good and bad outcome. What will happen if your child chooses to keep his toys after playing and what will happen if he doesn’t?
Do not ever punish them when they do not do their tasks as you expect them because they will just act negatively when you tell them to do their tasks. Instead find out why they did not do it. Perhaps it might be the task is too difficult for them or maybe they are tired from school that day. Do not jump into conclusion and assume that they are lazy.
Just like a regular classroom, your home can have a list of chores or tasks that must be done before and after school. Of course, you can do these tasks as their parent; however, by letting your child do these tasks, he would be made responsible for certain tasks thus allowing him to gain ownership and control over the duties.
Simple household chores like washing the dishes after mealtime or packing away their toys will help them to recognize that they have a duty to make their home a pleasant one for everyone living in it. Other duties like simple babysitting or taking care of the house pets are good chores to assign to young children.
Give Praise When They Do Their Chores
When your child does his assigned responsibilities for the day, praise him for his efforts especially if he takes initiative and doing it without you telling them. Let your child know that you are proud that he is doing the right thing and also make him aware that his actions are recognized.
Encouragement and praising are the strongest motivation for a child to instill good habits and behavior. Be consistent with your praises as well.
Challenging children would also do wonders in teaching them responsibility. For example, you can challenge your child in maintaining his bedroom clean for a week and even challenge him to maintain it after the week of the challenge. Once he does the challenge, he would realize the appeal brought by maintaining his bedroom clean every day before you know it and he will do the task without even you telling him to do it.
You can even challenge them on other tasks like doing their homework in advance and letting you check them before bedtime.
Review the Topic Regularly
Another great way to teach responsibility is by reviewing their duties regularly and talking about it consistently with your child. You can use games to speak about it and even let your child ask you more about it. You can increase the difficulty of the tasks assigned to your child as he progresses along in fulfilling his duties. If you do not talk about it regularly, your child would not see the importance of his tasks and why he should do it.
Do Not Regularly Reward Them
Finally, it is ideal you do not give your child any reward unless the situation calls for it. Childen do need to be rewarded in some way to learn to be responsible. However, it is more effective to give praise rather than material rewards since praises give children the confidence to perform well.
However, if your child did his best beyond his usual performance, reward him accordingly. A good example would be if he is tasked to feed the dog but he goes beyond just feeding it and brought the dog for walks without you asking him to.
Every child must be aware of the importance of their actions and learning their responsibility early will help them make their own choices as they grow older. As mentors and role models, we must ensure that our children learn this life skill and perform well not just at school and home but also throughout life. If they remain unaware of the importance of responsibility, they will have to be supervised constantly since they cannot be trusted to perform perfectly.
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