Archive for June, 2009

Motivate Your Child to Be More Self-Reliant

June 10, 2009

motherclipartMost experts agree that the earlier children start assuming some individual and family responsitbilities, the easier it will be for them to “take charge” of their lives as they grow up.  The most important thing to remember, as you give your child duties and schedules, is to shift the focus away form the work and towards working together.  Do this by showing and stressing daily concern for all family members and their activities.

To motivate your child to help himself and others even more try to:

1.  Impress upon your child how much of a difference his help, no matter how small, makes in your life.  Do this by consistently and genuinely complimenting him when he is actively involved in some aspect of school or home responsibilities.  Encouragement is a key to self-reliance.

2.  Establish a home routine in which all family members have work to do.  Don’t just tell your child what to do.  Gently teach and reteach the specific steps in his chores.  If you pay your child for chores, stress that it is for being self-reliant and that we don’t do things only for money.

3.  Show flexibility about home duties.  Most children get tired of doing the same chores.  So, for example, clean your child’s room while he cleans your room.  Also, don’t nag about exactly when chores get done as long as they are done to meet basic family demands.

4.  Make home and school work as enjoyable as possible.  Designate a special pleasant area for homework and have your child help you shop for his own cleaning supplies, soaps, shampoos, etc.  Also, always schedule a special fun time such as a game or story after family work is done.

5.  Let your child face the consequences of being lazy or forgetful.  For example, late library books mean he has a library fine, not you.  Children do learn from their mistakes.

6.  Provide a scheduled time for free-play every day.  Too many after school activities will cause your child to resist home and school duties which demand self-reliance.