Building Kids' Skills Through Increasing Responsibility

What new responsibilities are your children ready to handle? It’s easy to get into the habit of doing many things for your kids that they really could be doing for themselves. While your kids may be happy to let you do these tasks, they won’t learn how to clean their rooms by watching you do it!

One mom told the story of how she had always done her daughter’s laundry. When her daughter was preparing to move to a college dorm in the next town, her plan was to come home every couple weeks so her mom could do her wash. She wanted to buy enough underwear to last between trips instead of learning to wash it herself!

Noticing When They Are Ready to Learn

Most of the time your children will not be begging you for more responsibility. So it’s up to you to notice when they are to take on something new.

For example, when my son was about 6-years-old I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. He wasn’t sure so I gave him some choices. Would you like cereal? No. Yogurt with fruit? No. Toast with jam? No. Oatmeal? No.

As he rejected each suggestion, I felt increasingly frustrated. He also didn’t appear overly appreciative of my efforts to help him get breakfast. This was when I realized I could turn this responsibility over to him.

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