Gaining Independence and Responsibility

Gaining Independence and Responsibility

We have BIG jobs as parents; not only do we need to nurture and care for our children, it’s our job to guide them, teach them responsibility, and how to grow into productive adults later in life. One way we can do this is to teach them responsibility when they’re young through age appropriate chores, so as they grow it’s something that comes naturally to them.

Here are a few ways we nurture responsibility and work ethic in our home:

Family Pet

A pet is a fantastic way for children to learn responsibility. There’s work involved but there’s also reward- the fun times and love returned from a pet helps children to know work is worth it. Caring for animals is a great way to build a sense of responsibility and nurturing in our children for others.

A smaller pet like a rabbit is a great place to start; after acquiring a hutch, food and hay bales for them, children can then take on the responsibility of feeding the pet, playing with it, and cleaning out the pen/hutch as needed.

If your home is suitable for a dog, children can be responsible for walking, practicing training, and teaching commands, depending on the child’s age. Our kids are in charge of feeding animals, filling water pans, brushing, and changing litter/bedding on the farm (some jobs with help). Start by showing your child how to take care of the animal, and then slowly wean them onto doing the chores themself. 

Assign Chores

As adults we’re aware there are things we need to get done in life- Going to work, paying bills, running errands and keeping house; we do them because we have to, not because we necessarily enjoy them. Learning from a young age that there are tasks to be done can help when children get older and have more responsibility. Assign age appropriate chores to children and make it a habit. Simple acts like making the bed, setting the table or loading/unloading the dishwasher are a few examples.

We do a lot of tidying and cleaning up in our home through out the day-maybe not the brilliant lego tower, or the perfectly arranged doll setup, but the piles of books, random toys spread around, clothing, and shoes, etc are tidied throughout our daily routine.

Let kids be kids and have fun, of course- but it’s no bad thing to get them used to life skills. In our home responsibility is part of being in a family, living well, and being good stewards of our blessings.

Teach Budgeting Skills

Finally, teaching kids about money and budgeting skills can be useful. Kids dont understand the concept of money and can find it ‘unfair’ when mom and dad say no. Understanding how money is hard earned and finite in quantity can be really useful from a young age. Let them earn allowance by doing extra chores, helping a loved one around their home, and teach them how to divide it up- savings, spending, and “bills” if necessary. They’ll quickly learn that once it’s gone it’s gone, and how saving for the things you really want can be incredibly satisfying. 

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