A duty which becomes a desire will ultimately become a delight
- George Gritter
Lucky are those parents who need not tell the child to clean the bicycle every Sunday, look after the younger sister while at play, or take a bath before going to school. These children are responsible. They know their duties.
Later life they’ll turn out to be confident, independent and successful persons. But what about those who shirk responsibilities, argue, complain and seek excuses. Well. Don’t be upset with this. It’s normal with most growing up children.
And, the fact is.. you could easily change this situation.
Don't Sermonize, Set Eaxmples
The best way to make your child responsible is to first set examples. Parents must execute their responsibilities and let the child see it. The example sets the right pattern in him. Later, trust him with responsibility. Without giving him stern instructions. Tell him to clean his bicycle so that he can take a ride to the park in the evening. Trust him to do his work. Find out how he’s shaping up. No comments or criticisms.
Be prepared for disappointments. He may never do the job.
Do it with your child
If he hasn’t done it, sit along with him and show him how to do it. Teach him the joy of a duty. Make him experience the satisfaction of executing a task. Stand beside him. Let him know you’re there just in case he needs your help.
Identify areas of responsibility
Can you identify activities where he needs to be responsible? Baby-sitting, household chores or running an errand. Then work on that by doing it a few times along with him. Teach him how to do it. Do not blame or reprimand him when things go wrong. Tell him there’s always another time. Give him the time to learn.
Right way to compliment
Point to his shortcomings but relate it to the job entrusted. Not to his qualities or character. “Can we do it this way? is better than “You’re a lazy, good for nothing fellow who can’t execute a small task? Avoid doing what your dad did to you.
No duty in life should go unrewarded. A pat on the back or a compliment serves as a tonic to repeat the responsible behaviour. Sometimes it may be necessary to reward things with an ice cream, movie, or a new toy.
No overpraises please
Caution: do not over-praise responsible behaviour. If he has only dusted his bicycle, instead of cleaning it, don’t say “great job child”. Not only is it insincere but it will limit his sense of responsibility. He may begin to think that this is enough to satisfy any parents.
Note: The carrot stick policy may fetch rewards sometimes, but it’s advisable to make him savor the joy of doing things. Be patient and gentle. But be persistent. The rewards will definitely show up.
Execute your responsibility See him learn
Trust him with duty Watch him grow
Don’t comment or criticize He’ll enjoy his work
Reward a good job well done He’ll feel proud
Join him as he executes Its not work any longer, its fun
Overpraise He’ll slow down work
Punishment for not executing task Builds resistance in him
Patience and persistence The rewards will show up