Responsibility and Young Children.

From a Dad and Step Dad to girls of a varying young age. Emelia and Maisy 8 years old, Amelia 6 years old, Ellie 4 years old and Charlotte who is 14 months. I would like to walk you through how we are currently introducing responsibility with our girls.

Life lessons of Responsibility.

With all the girls I have tried like my Dad did with me and my older brother, is to teach them responsibility. But at what ages is acceptable for certain tasks around the house to help them learn some responsibility, be responsible for themselves and their belongings such as toys, clothes and bedrooms.

Pets

I remember from my childhood a way my parents tought us some responsibility was with a pet. We were allowed a pet such as a rabbit, Guinea pig or hamster, along the guidelines that we were the ones who managed their upkeek, from feeding, cleaning out hutches or cages, time with them for attention.

This tought us responsibility in a way of caring for an animal, gave us the drive to get up and do something pro active, could be sat with the pet giving it snuggles and strokes for attention, rather than sat watching television or playing video games we would be cleaning out cages or hutches.

We have tried similar with the girls, they have Guinea pigs, they help to give them their daily veggies, making sure they have plenty of hay, dried food and water. Give them time and attention, I help with cleaning out the guinea pig play house we have for them. I’ll show you the house later in the year as I have some improvements I’d like to do with it. We have 2 cats and a dog, basically mine and Sarah’s pets but the girls certainly like to help with giving him his breakfast, tea and treats and joining on his walks.

Ellie proving she can be responsible with a family pet. Our guinea pig Buttons.
Ellie and one of the family pets. Our Guinea Pig Buttons.

Responsible for own space and belongings.

We’ve started with Ellie (4) recently with her toys, clothes and bedroom of being responsible for them, keeping her toys and bedroom tidy, if she has certain clothes, mainly trousers, socks, knickers and tights as they’re easier for her to put away. We get the odd whinge, moan and fuss about being asked to do such a task like you would with any young un, as an incentive we offer so much a week pocket money for keeping their bedrooms and beds tidy.

It’s similar for the older girls but as with age they have a bit more responsibility, hanging clothes on hangers, folding school uniform when they get changed after school, folding pj’s and putting away in there bedrooms before school. After playing with toys like Ellie to put them away in a tidy fashion so they don’t get broken. Bit of a lesson to look after their things. Making beds but also with the older lot they have other chores, such as making sure they have put dirty washing in the washing basket to wash, help take dry laundry upstairs, hoover every so often. Just to help take a load off from me and mum.

The girls depending on their mood enjoy being helpful, and is a great way to have a bit of fun with the kids. Sock fights are hilarious.

They all have certain chores to do throughout the week including school reading and homework they may have, which if all done throughout a week they earn a set amount of pocket money.

Learning Responsibility due to consequences.

This is one that makes us as parents maybe feel guilty. Now all kids can be naughty and cheeky and do things that they shouldn’t, maybe something that they don’t know is wrong but also actions they may know is wrong and there is a consequence for it.

One thing we do with the girls and has been clearly explained so they understand, that with certain behaviours or things they may do which is for example an unacceptable behaviour or action, they have a certain amount of pennies taken from their pocket money. May only be 20p depends on the severity and seriousness.

This has been a good way of the girls learning responsibility for their actions and also to know there will be consequences that come with certain behaviours and actions.

Now I’m no Supernanny or anything. Damn you never hear anything about her anymore do you. I feel so guilty been judge and jury dishing out punishments such as deducting pocket money or sitting them in the naughty corner. Even having to unleash the Dad Voice out the arsenal. That’s the main guilt bringer, it scares them slightly, hate doing it but sometimes it’s necessary.

A moody look and unimpressed that she has being made to sit at the table for doing something unacceptable.  But she has to be responsible for her actions and receive a punishment as a consequence because of her actions.
Moody Ellie during a stint on the naughty chair.

What about you lot?

So what about you guys, from perspective of other parents. Mum’s Dad’s Grandparents, what do you do to help teach your little uns responsibility and even discipline wise to help them learn consequences for their actions?

Would love to hear from you, comment and see if we can get a discussion going of tips or your perspectives on the subjects above.

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