Life is about consequences for our actions. We drive too fast through a school zone, we get a ticket. We surf the web and accidentally download a virus, we have costly computer repairs. Every action has a consequence, good or bad. Our children’s actions produce consequences as well. The wet towel that your child left on the floor of the bathroom will not hang itself up. The video games strewn about the family room wait for someone to put them away.
Each family sets its own priorities for children’s responsibilities. In some households, the parents do all of the chores, as the children play. In other families, children are given responsibilities and consequences appropriate to their age level.
In the school setting, your child will be held responsible for his actions. If he doesn’t finish his project, he may need to bring it home or work during “Fun Friday” activities in the classroom. If he spills his paint in art class, he will clean it up. If he is rude to his friends, he may find himself playing alone at recess.
As parents, we often try to protect our children from age-appropriate consequences. We give our child the answers to his math homework, or clean up his toys so that he can go out to play with his friends. Without intending to, we are taking away valuable learning opportunities that will help our child grow into responsible adults.
Becoming responsible for ourselves takes practice. Let your school-ager be responsible in small things now, so that later he can demonstrate his skill with greater responsibilities. Then your job is simply to be proud!!!