Ready for more Responsibility

Michelle Verne

Student-parents at CSUN,

Need more help at home?  If you’re first, second or third grader is showing signs of increased competence, it’s time to up their responsibility.  Kids always ask for the opportunity to feed the animals, stay up later, or to ride their bike alone.  In order to receive these rewards kids should be required to show more responsibility at home.  The question is what types of duties are right for our children?

Doing household duties can help to grow child’s independence while helping with your workload.  But little steps should be considered first.  Before your child wants to care for an animal, beginning with taking care of plants might be a wiser option, and once he or she shows that those plants are well-cared for then increase the responsibility until an animal can be considered.  This can help your child to acquire more self-assurance while providing you with confidence in your child.

My third grader often asks for sleepovers with his school friends.  Before I let him have his first sleepover, it was imperative that he could be responsible for taking care of himself through the night and the next morning.  I told him that before he could have a sleepover, he would have to be able to get himself ready for school for three consecutive days.  When he completed that task, I granted him with his first sleepover and he’s been getting himself ready since.

Though this growing experience can be scary, communication is the key to supporting the process.  Breaking down the responsibility into smaller tasks will help your child reach their independent goals.