Today I want to give you some concrete steps you can take, to get your child to take more responsibility.
The method below also helps your child become more independent.
FYI: Spots are filling up for the program I’m offering, all about how to do less for your child and feel good about that! Because I’m working so closely with participants I am strictly limiting enrollment. (As I write this there are just 4 spots left!) You can learn more and register by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/indy.
Independence is good for two reasons:
- 1. When kids can do more for themselves, it is ultimately going to be helpful for them, all their lives.
- 2. When kids can do more for themselves, we don’t have to do as much for them. We can be guilt-free as we enjoy more free time, maybe even do something that fills our soul.
But, it can be incredibly difficult to give our children independence. Just as it can be incredibly difficult to get them to take more responsibility.
This is for a variety of reasons, and it is something that I have struggled with as my kids have grown.
I’ve overcome this challenge, and I have helped others do the same. In fact all this quarter in the Ninja Parenting Community, our focus is on independence! If you are an NPC member, click this link to go directly to our Parent Quarterly Focus forum on Independence.
So, here is my roadmap to getting your child to take more responsibility, and also getting your child to be more independent!
1) Tweak your requests, and your consistency, for positive results.
Falling under the heading of “small wins for the win,” think for a moment on some of the small things that happen in your home every day.
- Do you clean up your child’s messes?
- Wash, dry, fold, and put away their laundry?
- Get them snacks, drinks, and other things that, perhaps, they could do themselves?
If so, you are not alone!
Start with one small change.
Decide, for example, “When I come upon a bin of toys tipped over on the living room floor, I will not clean it up myself. Instead, I will get my child to do this.”
Then, go to where your child is and say some version of: “you need to come and clean up your toys.”
2) Expect respect, and give respect also.
Say to your child: “I am sorry to disturb you, but you need to come and do this job now please.”
You are showing respect, and you are also starting with the expectation that your child will give you respect.
It’s mutual, collaborative, and makes everybody feel good!
3) Next, consider how your fears may be holding back your child from gaining independence.
This is a really personal one for me.
When I was seven years old I was sexually assaulted. When my own child turned seven, I really struggled to allow him to do things that most kids take for granted: going to a friend’s house, visiting a comic book store, and other positive, prosocial, kid-friendly activities.
I had to think hard on how my fears might hold him back.
I realized that I could not stop him from going out and doing the things he was excited about because of my fears.
So I worked really hard on that. I gave him language for what to say if he ever felt threatened (hint: it was all about establishing boundaries and learning to use the word “no”).
While it was challenging, it was also good learning on the road to independence.
(Recently Anna Seewald interviewed me about how being sexually assaulted as a child has affected my whole life. Anna is a great interviewer, and she really brought out lots of positive, hopeful, and helpful thoughts!
Click here to listen, and just know that you want to listen away from your kiddos.)
Maybe – hopefully – your fears are not quite that intense.
But still. What might you be afraid of, that will hold your child back?
- Are they of an age to ride bikes around the neighborhood without you, and really want to do that?
- Do you fear broken crockery or glass, if they were to get themselves a snack or pour their own drinks?
- Do you have a certain way that you like the kitchen clean, or the laundry folded, and you are convinced that they’ll never be able to do it to your level of satisfaction?
These are all fears, and all very common.
Today, I encourage you to examine them.
Ask yourself: how might my fear be holding my child back?
And then remember these wonderful words of Elven Semrad’s:
“The antidote to anxiety is action.”
What one small step could you take, to give your children their independence, to help them take more responsibility, and ultimately to help them grow into confident, competent, and capable grown-ups?
Tell me about it, just by hitting reply to this email or going to weturnedoutokay.com/contact, so I can cheer you on and celebrate you as you help your child become responsible and independent!
In-Training Update: This week I am working on overcoming my fears… and just opening the document.
I have noticed a disturbing trend, as I have begun the editing process for Educating Happy Kids: 9 Ways to Help Your Children Learn What They Need to Know.
It’s that I have been literally afraid to start editing!
Which isn’t really going to help me get this book out to you.
So, I am celebrating when I just open the document.
That’s my in-training update for the week, remembering that small steps will get me there. Small steps will get this book into your hands. Just like they did with my other parenting books.
Also… I have made the decision to get the book up for preorder in mid August, and release it in September. And those dates are coming up soon, so I better get cracking : )
Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group…
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
What’s up on the podcast this week:
We discuss what doesn’t matter – and what truly does matter – in helping kids learn what they need to know!
Click the link below to listen:
What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Each Monday in our We Turned Out Okay Facebook group I do a superquick Facebook live that I call “Magic Words for Parents”… And this week’s shares one way to foster your child’s learning!
Click here to join the Facebook group : )