Welcome friends! I am so excited that you are here today.
Have you ever been frustrated that your child isn’t more responsible?
Would it be nice if he or she lent a hand more often?
I have some ideas for you!
Some kids are naturally helpful, organized and neat.
They volunteer to pitch in and do chores without extra prompting. This article is for the other 99% of kids 🙂
Just like learning to read and write, responsibility can be taught.
Sometimes practicing the right words is just the boost kids need to help them become more responsible.
We want to teach our children to be responsible and ensure they grow to be mature adults who can handle adulting in the real world.
Here are 3 “magic” phrases that help grow responsible kids:
1. “Can I help you with anything?”
Some kids can get lost in their own little worlds. They don’t really notice if you’re struggling with grocery bags or surrounded by a mountain of dishes.
Kids have much different priorities than adults (hello, Minecraft!). Kids may assume you’ve got things under control.
When you teach them to say “Can I help you with anything?” it helps them to look beyond themselves.
After practicing this phrase, you may be pleasantly surprised at the times it pops out of your child’s mouth. (Be sure to praise them when it does!)
2. “Report back.”
We’ve used this phrase for years. When I’m giving instructions or perhaps asking a child to clean his room (grab your printable cleaning checklist here), I’ll usually end my instruction with “and report back.”
My kids know this means the job isn’t done until they’ve notified me and I’ve inspected their work. This helps keep them from wandering off with a job half-done. It helps me, too, to make sure they’ve done what I asked of them.
3. “Go the extra mile.”
I also use this one when I’m giving instructions. See, my kids are human (yours, too?!) So they might get a little sloppy with their chores at times.
They might tidy up the kitchen but leave crumbs in the sink. They might pick up the toys in the homeschool room, but ignore the ones right outside the door.
I’m teaching them to not just do what I’ve asked them, but to make sure it’s done well. When my kids hear “go the extra mile”, it’s a reminder to try to do everything possible to do a great job. After all, we’re trying to do our work “as unto the Lord.”
Leaving something undone or missing out on a few details may be technically acceptable, but it’s much more of a blessing to “go the extra mile.”
Once again, be sure to praise your kids when they’ve done a great job, whether it’s on a household chore, homeschool assignment, or some other task.
Of course, kids won’t become responsible overnight (some adults seem to have missed that boat entirely!) But a loving parent can do a lot to help them improve in this area.
Using these 3 magic phrases is one way I am teaching my kids responsibility.
It makes a world of difference in their attitudes and helps them to be a blessing to the whole family in our busy household.
Sarah Mueller blogs at Early Bird Mom, keeping your family intentional and organized. Make sure you grab her latest subscriber freebie, 10 Easy Ways to Start Organizing (Even when you don’t feel like it).