Home Values: Learning Responsibility and Independence Early
We all want the best for our children. We may even go as far as work ourselves to the bone just to give them a comfortable life. But the best things we can give them will never have monetary value. These are the tools to help them become a good and productive person as they grow up.
Independence and responsibility go hand in hand
Independence and responsibility are two things that should always go hand in hand. As parents, we want our kids to learn how to eventually take care of themselves – even if we hope they won’t have to – when they come to age. Teaching them how to get dressed and tie their shoelaces are among the first things they learn. But there are other things that we should also encourage them to do.
Pick up after playtime
Smaller children are always taught to pack away their toys after playtime. This is quite important as it will serve as early foundation for responsibility. Having them start by helping putting their things back to its proper places will teach them the value of taking care of their things and keeping them neatly.
As they grow older, they will have the same sense of responsibility when it comes to their things and areas of responsibility.
For older kids beginning at 9 years old, a couple of household chores should be introduced. Remember that this is meant to be a learning experience that they should not learn to hate. So it’s important to keep it fun and rewarding until such time that you feel they have learned all they need to learn and execute the tasks properly and efficiently.
Chores can be a long list, so keep it simple at first, and work from there. Clearing the table after a meal could be a good start. Since they have already learned the importance of keeping things neat and in its proper place, they can apply the same principles.
We should not let them do this on their own immediately, start by asking for help to do this with perhaps the promise of dessert afterwards. Doing dishes can be the next activity after they’ve grown accustomed to the first task.
The things we teach our children at home albeit simple will stay with them as they age. This is an important value that many overlook but is integral in every person’s growth. As mundane and simple as these tasks are, it carries with it a set of principles to execute what is expected. These principles can be applied to other activities and challenges that they may face.
Perhaps it would be easier to think this way: the simple activities we share with our children are in fact tools that they can use in their lives one day.
We do not need to spoonfeed them and make them dependent to us; what we need is to slowly get them ready for the world ahead. The confidence we build in them will likewise grow within ourselves.
And when they say they’re ready, we’ll know they’ll be alright.