“That is not how the world works.” Have you ever heard or used this phrase when brainstorming the best methods to prepare your children for tomorrow? Raising children who can fly well when it's time to leave the nest is such an important priority for parents. Responsibility is defined as the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization, according to Oxford Language. As you know, responsibility isn't just about chores – it's about ensuring children are held accountable, gain independence, and are ready for the future! In this newsletter, we provide practical suggestions to assist parents in cultivating responsibility in their children while highlighting the difference between obedience and developing genuine responsibility.
Start Small and Fit Their Age:
Begin with easy tasks, and as your child grows, make things grow a bit more challenging. Simple tasks such as tidying up or setting the table can show them how they can help at home.
Responsibility vs. Doing What You're Told:
Understanding this difference is a big deal. Obedience is doing things without questioning, while responsibility means understanding why you are doing things then taking the lead. Encourage your child to think about why tasks matter and how they can help the family!
Encourage Them to Think:
Let your kids be a part of conversations about responsibilities. Ask them what they think and let them make decisions. This helps them think carefully about their actions.
Why Do Chores Matter?:
Growing up, did you ever think, “Why so many chores, Mom?” Certainly children today will think similarly! When asking them to do a chore, try explaining to them why it's important. This helps kids see why their actions matter. For example, explaining that cleaning the toys keeps accidents away and makes the home cozy.
Say "Great Job!" and Keep Going:
Praising your child for their efforts is super important. When you say they did a great job, it makes them proud and excited to do more.
Be Patient and Give a Hand:
Learning responsibility takes time. If a task becomes too difficult, give them a hand, but let them learn on their own too.
Show How It's Done:
Kids learn from watching you. When you show responsibility in your work, chores, and how you treat others, they will pick up on it.
Teaching responsibility isn't just about chores – it's about raising confident children. By taking small steps, communicating, being a positive example, and giving praise, you are assisting your children in growing into capable adults. The main goal is to prepare them for life's challenges, one responsible choice at a time.
Cultivating Responsible Children: LLJ’s Positive Reinforcement Behavior Charts
At Life’s Little Joys Childcare Service, we are dedicated to providing exceptional babysitting services that nurture children's development in a positive and effective manner. We understand and value fostering good behavior through positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is defined as a desirable stimulus that is introduced to encourage certain behavior, according to Positive Psychology. Just as we provide quality care and attention to children, we employ a similar approach to encourage their positive conduct through our personalized behavior charts (BC) and our reward system! Positive reinforcement is a proactive strategy supported by research from the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota.
Positive Reinforcement involves using stimuli, such as praise, approval, or preferred activities, to increase the likelihood of desired behaviors. We believe that by focusing on positive reinforcement, we can cultivate behaviors that create a safe and enriching environment for the children under our care. Our behavior charts work with seven categories including good listener, being kind, and refraining from eating junk food. Oftentimes, adults can instruct for children to be a good listener, but does a child truly understand what this means? This is why on the back of the BC, we ask “What does it mean to be a good listener?”, “What does it mean to be kind?”. This allows the following:
The BCs are now personalized to the child/household - Every child/family is unique in their own. The BCs should reflect their values and level of understanding for the most effectiveness.
The children become without excuse - As mentioned in #1, the BCs are tailored to the understanding of the children within each household. This allows parents a level of certainty that children have a clear understanding of their behavior and when they are breaking rules.
The children participates in the “rules” - Allowing children to be a part of the “rule”making process allows for a higher chance of their desire to participate in behavior chart.
With any form of positive reinforcement, there needs to be a reward system! With the Life’s Little Joys CS behavior chart, upon the completion of each category, children will receive kindness coins. When so many kindness coins are collected, children can pick from our treasure chest that holds many jewels including some of their favorites (because personalization is just what we do!).
Please comment below and share with us how you use or plan to use positive reinforcement to mold your future leaders!