It’s no secret that raising children is hard work. But one of the most important things we can do as parents is to teach our kids how to become responsible adults. This means teaching them how to behave, think for themselves, and make good decisions. It’s a tall order, but with patience and love, it can be done. Here are five tips to get you started.
Most parents know that it’s important to teach their children to behave early, but many underestimate the value of this. Start as soon as your child proves they can at least follow instructions and complete a task.
When you first begin teaching your child, you might experience a lot of resistance as they attempt to assert their independence for the first time. This is a crucial time in your child’s development and if you push too hard, you could shut their development down. So instead of forcing them to do something, simply explain why they need to learn that particular behavior.
Make sure that when you’re teaching your children about their abilities, you also let them know that many things are difficult to understand. They must know that it takes time and effort before things become easier, but with practice, you can learn anything.
Give clear instructions.
Making sure your children can follow directions is another skill you should aim to teach them as early as possible. The best way to do this is by demonstrating what you want them to do, then giving them clear instructions that they can follow easily.
Don’t be too strict.
Although your child must know what is expected of him or her, over-discipline causes unnecessary stress and anxiety for kids. Especially harsh punishment like spanking can make children feel bad about themselves and distrustful of the people around them.
Set rules and expectations
You must be clear with what you expect of your child. Make sure they know exactly what is expected of them and why the rule exists, then make sure there are consequences if they don’t follow it. Make these consequences realistic; children will respond better to punishments that make sense for their age, like losing a privilege instead of getting grounded for a month.
In addition to telling your child what the rules are, explain why they need to follow them by asking them questions, such as “Where’s a good place for toys?” and “What happened when you were playing with that broken glass?” If they give the wrong answer, explain how it could have been prevented or offer an alternative solution that they could have chosen.
Teach them how to think for themselves
One of the hardest things for children to learn is how to think for themselves since they’re often taught that their parents have the answers to everything. But kids need to be able to separate themselves from their parents and understand that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. This allows them to learn by trial and error instead of just copying what they see at home.
If your children are having a difficult time separating themselves from you, show them by example. Instead of jumping in to solve problems while they’re struggling, turn the situation into a discussion so there’s room for both of you to come up with solutions. And then ask them if they want your help or prefer to figure it out on their own.
Prepare them for the real world
Although it’s natural to want your children to stay innocent and carefree forever, it won’t last. If you try too hard to protect them from everything in the real world, they might end up not knowing how to deal with certain situations when they do become adults. So teach your children about life by showing them different places and experiences. If they have a fear, acknowledge it instead of telling them there’s no reason to be scared. This way they can develop the ability to cope with their fears when they’re adults.
You can also introduce them to the concept of Jesus discipleship so they can emulate the actions and teachings of Jesus. Even as they need to be adults to become a part of the organization, they can learn about the organization and its mission while they are still young.
Teaching your child to become responsible is important because it sets them on the right path to becoming independent adults. Doing this early in their life will make it easier for them when they are older. Teach your child about abilities, time, directions, rules, consequences, thinking for themselves, and more by demonstrating what you want them to do and giving instructions they can easily follow.