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    Teaching Kids to Relish their Responsibilities

    By Seth Mullins     

    Children primarily learn things not from being lectured to, instructed, or drilled, but rather through imitation. A dozen occasions where we might try to explain to them how something should be done are not worth one single occasion where they have the opportunity to watch us do it. They soak up a lot from these experiences. Not only our physical actions but also our emotions are apparent to them. They can see how much we enjoy – or don’t enjoy – the work that we’re involved in.

    Parents oftentimes have trouble getting their children to participate with chores – for example, around the house – because they’ve given their young ones the message, right from the start, that these activities aren’t supposed to be pleasurable.

    For this reason, we should be conscious of our own attitudes as we approach the duties of our daily lives – especially when our children are present. If we always huff and mutter under our breath when it’s time to sweep the floors or do the dishes, this sends a distinct message to them that these activities are not fun. No wonder that they balk when we try to get them to do similar things!

    It is, admittedly, hard to put a good face on when another round of seemingly endless chores looms in front of us. But approaching our daily tasks with cheerfulness and vigor will entice our children to want to participate in this aspect of our lives. Then they’ll be able to experience the satisfaction of a job well done. The next time that we ask them to do something for us, they’ll recall that feeling they last had when they applied their skills and saw good and tangible results at the end. This is the ground from which self-esteem and a sense of their own effectiveness can grow.

    If we want our children to learn how to be self-responsible, we can nurture their development by giving them tasks that lie within their abilities to do. They will approach these responsibilities with more enthusiasm if they see that we, too, enjoy our work.

    Then, of course, we can always add little incentives to make the task at hand more worthwhile. If they rake the yard then they’ll end up with a pile of leaves that they can jump in. If they help clear the table then there will be room for us to set the dessert.

    Written by Seth MullinsRate this article:

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