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Tips to Encourage Responsibility in Children
Those who have children are always looking for ways in which you can give them responsibilities in order to help them to become better adults. With older children, it is easier as they can handle some tasks. However, with smaller children it can seem hard to find something that they can do or at least help you do. Not only are these small tasks teaching responsibility, but they are also helping you out. Let's face it, as a parent, you have a ton to do, thus a little help every now and then is something that you need.
The key to getting kids to help you with anything, is to make the task fun and exciting for them. This is especially true of younger children. When a young child feels as though they are doing something that is fun, they are more likely to put all of their energy into this. Older kids though, are another story as they are usually not interested in these types of fun activities. If you do have younger children, here are some ideas to get them to have fun while they are helping you around the house or with other various tasks.
1. A Treasure Hunt
If you have younger children who like to carry around their sippy cups, bottles or other items, then you know that these get strung around the house, making it impossible to find them at all once. A great idea is to let the kids believe they are on a treasure hunt for these items. Tell them to go as fast as they can to find these items, and make a game of it. Some kids like to pretend that they are spies and finding the items are something that leads them to the evil genius. You can basically make this game any way that you want, and let it be something that relates to your kids.
2. Have a Reward System in Place
Though the older kids may have chores to do that they are needed to do, and do not receive a reward with, you can make younger kids get some type of reward. The reward does not have too be much. In fact, it can be something educational. For example, after helping to clean up their toys, they may be able to sit down and watch 30 minutes of their favorite television program. You could even offer a frozen fruit snack after cleaning up their toys, so not only are they getting a reward, but you are giving them something that is healthy.
3. Make Cleaning Fun
If you task your children with helping to clean their rooms or the entire house, make this fun. Play music while they are cleaning, as this tends to get everyone moving faster, even you. Have realistic expectation for how "clean" something is going to be. Most kids simply think picking up the toys in the walk path of a room is enough, it is up to you to tell them how to do this in a way that is actually helpful. More than likely, you are still going to spend quite a bit of time helping them to learn the right way, but no one learns anything without first being taught how to do this.
4. Make A Song Up
Most kids work better with music, and if you don't want to play music, make up a cleaning song that the kids can sing with you while they work. This is going to resort in giggles and fun, which is really how you want your kids to be at such a young age. The song can be as simple as "Clean up, clean up...it's time to clean up". The key is to make this time one that is fun while also teaching responsibility.
We all need help every now and then, and it is important for children at an early age learn that messes have to be cleaned up. And it is important for children to know that when they are responsible for the mess, they are responsible for the clean up as well.