How to help your child with reading


We all want lớn raise responsible children. And we all want lớn live in a world where others have been raised to lớn be responsible, a world where adults don’t shrug off their responsibilities as citizens. So how vị we raise our kids to take responsibility for their choices và their impact on the world?

You begin by seeing responsibility as something joyful for your child, instead of a burden. All children want khổng lồ see themselves as response-able — powerful và able to lớn respond to what needs lớn be done. They need this for their self esteem, & for their lives khổng lồ have meaning. Children don’t want just lớn be doted on. They need, like the rest of us, khổng lồ feel lượt thích they matter khổng lồ the world, like their lives make a positive contribution.

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So, you don’t really need khổng lồ teach kids khổng lồ handle themselves responsibly in the world; you just need khổng lồ teach them that they have the power to lớn contribute positively, and to relate to them so that they want to vị so.

Here are 15 everyday strategies guaranteed to lớn increase your kids’ “response-ability” quotient. Notice that this danh sách focuses on your child’s span of control, rather than on tasks you want them to do. There’s a reason for that. When you focus on a các mục of tasks your child “should” do, you kết thúc up creating power struggles. “By now you should be able to lớn clean up your own toys!” If, instead, you focus on helping your child take charge of his life, and tư vấn him as necessary khổng lồ learn each new skill, your child wants lớn step into each new responsibility. Instead of your “holding him responsible,” he becomes motivated lớn take responsibility for himself. It’s a subtle shift, but it makes all the difference in the world.

1. Raise your child with the expectation that we always clean up our own messes.

Begin by helping your child, until she learns it. She’ll learn it faster if you can be cheerful và kind about it và remember not lớn worry about spilled milk. Encourage her to lớn help by handing her a sponge as you pick one up yourself, even when it’s easier to vì it yourself. (And it’s almost always easier to bởi vì it yourself.) As long as you aren’t judgmental about it–so she isn’t defensive–she’ll want khổng lồ help clean up and make things better. So when your toddler spills her milk, say “That’s ok. We can clean it up,” as you hand her a paper towel and pick one up yourself.


 When your preschooler leaves her shoes scattered in your path, hand them khổng lồ her và ask her lớn put them away, saying kindly “We always clean up our own stuff.”

If your approach is positive & light-hearted, your child won’t get defensive & whine that you should bởi the cleanup. And when kids hear the constant friendly expectation that “We always clean up our own messes…Don’t worry, I’ll help….Here’s the paper towels for you; I’ll get the sponge…” they become both easier khổng lồ live with and better citizens of the world.

2. Kids need an opportunity khổng lồ contribute khổng lồ the common good.

All children contribute to lớn the rest of us in some way, regularly. Find those ways and comment on them, even if it is just noticing when she is kind khổng lồ her little brother or that you enjoy how she’s always singing. Whatever behaviors you acknowledge will grow.

As your children get older, their contributions should increase appropriately, both within and outside the household. Kids need to lớn grow into two kinds of responsibilities: their own self care, and contributing to the family welfare. Research indicates that kids who help around the house are also more likely to lớn offer help in other situations than kids who simply participate in their own self care.

Of course, you can’t expect them khổng lồ develop a helpful attitude overnight. It helps khổng lồ steadily increase responsibility in age appropriate ways. Invite toddlers to put napkins on the table, three year olds to set places. Four year olds can match socks, & five year olds can help you groom the dog. Six year olds are ready khổng lồ clear the table, seven year olds lớn water plants, and eight year olds khổng lồ fold laundry.

3. Remember that no kid in his right mind wants to bởi vì “chores.”

Unless you want your child to think of contributing to the family as drudgery, don’t “make” him bởi vì chores without you until they are a regular part of your family routine, and one that your child does not resist.


 Your goal isn’t getting this job done, it’s shaping a child who will take pleasure in contributing và taking responsibility. Make the job fun. Give as much structure, support, & hands-on help as you need to, including sitting with him & helping for the first thirty times he does the task, if necessary. Know that it will be much harder than doing it yourself. Remind yourself that there’s joy in these tasks, & communicate that, along with the satisfaction of a job well done. Eventually, he will be doing these tasks by himself. That day will come much faster if he enjoys them.

4. Always let children “do it myself” and “help” even when it’s more work for you.

And it will always be more work for you. But toddlers want desperately to lớn master their physical worlds, and when we support them to vì chưng that, they step into the responsibility of being “response-able.” So instead of rushing through your list, reframe. You’re working with your child to help him discover the satisfaction of contribution. That’s more important than having the job done quickly or perfectly.

5. Rather than simply giving orders, try asking your child to vày the thinking.

For instance, lớn the dallying child in the morning, instead of barking “Brush your teeth! Is your backpack packed? Don’t forget your lunch!,” you could ask “What’s the next thing you need to vì to get ready for school?” The goal is lớn keep them focused on their list, morning after morning, until they internalize it & begin managing their own morning tasks.

6. Provide routines and structure.

These are crucial in children’s lives for many reasons, not the least of which is that it gives them repeated opportunities to lớn manage themselves through a series of not especially inviting tasks. First, they master the bedtime routine & cleaning up toys & getting ready in the morning. Then they develop successful study habits and grooming habits. Finally, they learn basic life skills through repetition of household routines lượt thích doing laundry or making simple meals.

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7. Teach your child to lớn be responsible for her interactions with others.

When your daughter hurts her little brother’s feelings, don’t force her khổng lồ apologize. She won’t mean it, và it won’t help him. Instead, listen to her feelings lớn help her work out those tangled emotions that made her snarl at him.


Then, once she feels better, ask her what she can do to make things better between them. Maybe she’ll be ready lớn apologize. But maybe that will feel like losing face, và she would rather repair things with him by reading him a story, or helping him with his chore of setting the table, or giving him a big hug. This teaches children that their treatment of others has a cost, & that they’re responsible for repairs when they vì chưng damage. But because you aren’t forcing, she’s able to lớn CHOOSE lớn make the repair, which makes it feel good, & makes her more likely khổng lồ repeat it.

8. Support your child lớn help pay for damaged goods.

If kids help pay from their own allowance for lost library books và cell phones, windows broken by their baseball, or tools they’ve left out lớn rust, the chances of a repeat infraction are slim.

9. Don’t rush lớn bail your child out of a difficult situation.

Be available for problem-solving, helping him work through his feelings and fears, & to insure that he doesn’t just sidestep the difficulty, but let him handle the problem himself, whether it requires offering an apology or making amends in a more concrete way.

10. Mã sản phẩm responsibility and accountability.

Be explicit about the responsible choices you’re making: “It’s a pain to lớn carry this trash till we get to the car, but I don’t see a trashcan and we never litter.” “This sign says parking is reserved for handicapped people, so of course we can’t take that spot.” Keep your promises khổng lồ your child, và don’t make excuses. If you don’t follow through when you promise lớn pick up that notebook he needs for school, or play that game with him on Saturday, why should he be responsible about keeping his promises and agreements with you?

11. Never label your child as “Irresponsible”

Never label your child as “Irresponsible,” because the way we see our kids is always a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, teach him the skills he needs to be responsible. If he always loses things, for instance, teach him lớn stop anytime he leaves somewhere — his friend’s house, school, soccer practice — & count off everything he needs to lớn take home.

12. Teach your child lớn make a written schedule.

It may seem like overkill, but in our busy 21st century lives, all kids need lớn master this skill by high school, or they simply won’t get everything done. Begin on weekends during middle school, or earlier, if their schedule is busy. Just take a piece of paper, danh sách the hours of the day on the left, and ask your child what he needs lớn get done this weekend. Put in the baseball game, piano practice, the birthday party, và all the steps of the science project – shop for materials, build the volcano, write & print out the description. địa chỉ cửa hàng downtime — go for ice cream with dad, chill và listen khổng lồ music. Most kids find this keeps their áp lực level down, since they know when everything will get done. Most important, it teaches them to lớn manage their time and be responsible about their commitments.

13. All kids need the experience of working for pay.

All kids need the experience of working for pay, which teaches them real responsibility in the real world. Begin by paying your eight year old to vì chưng tasks you wouldn’t normally expect of him (washing the car, weeding the garden), then encourage him khổng lồ expand khổng lồ odd jobs in the neighborhood (walk the neighbor’s dog or offer snow shoveling service in the winter), move on to lớn mother’s helper/babysitting jobs when it’s age appropriate, and finally take on after-school or summer jobs. Few settings teach as much about responsibility as the world of working for pay outside the family. Few settings teach as much about responsibility as the world of working for pay outside the family.

14. Create a No-Blame Household.

We all, automatically, want to lớn blame someone when things go wrong. It’s as if fixing blame might prevent a recurrence of the problem, or absolve us of responsibility. In reality, blaming makes everyone defensive, more inclined to watch their back — and to attack — than khổng lồ make amends. It’s the #1 reason kids lie khổng lồ their parents. Worse yet, when we blame them, kids find all kinds of reasons it wasn’t really their fault — at least in their own minds — so they’re less likely lớn take responsibility & the problem is more likely lớn repeat.

Blame is the opposite of unconditional love. So why bởi we vì chưng it? lớn help us feel less out of control, and because we can’t bear the suspicion that we also had some role, however small, in creating the situation. Next time you find yourself automatically beginning khổng lồ blame someone, stop. Instead, accept any responsibility you can – it’s good practice khổng lồ overstate your responsibility – without beating yourself up. (You’re modeling, remember?) Then, just accept the situation. You can always come up with better solutions from a state of acceptance than a state of blame.

15. Teach your kids that as Eleanor Roosevelt said, they not only have the right to be an individual, they have an obligation lớn be one.

Studies show that people who take responsibility in any given situation are people who see themselves as willing khổng lồ be different và stand out. That’s the kind of kid you want to lớn raise.

Source: Aha! Parenting

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