Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Parent to Parent: Responsibility
Learning your abc's and 123's is a basic part of growing up. But teaching your child responsibility requires a certain degree of patience. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Sally has advice on how to make our kids accountable for their actions.
WSVN--Seven-year-old Bryce Walden and his mom Althea like to watch cartoons together every night. But for awhile, Bryce wasn't allowed to watch any TV after having problems at school.
Althea Walden: "The teacher called me and said he told the teacher I don't care if you call my mom because I was acting up."
Faced with arguments at school. Not cleaning up at home. And not listening in general...
Althea Walden: "Bryce you need to do this. Bryce you need to do that and I have to say it three times sometimes before he even moves."
Althea wasn't sure what to do to get Bryce to take responsibility.
Althea Walden: "Whatever punishment you seem to come up with doesn't seem to have an effect on him. Doesn't phase him. Doesn't phase him."
Althea Walden: "How can I teach him responsibility, taking responsibility for his actions, that's what I need to know."
And that's when we turned to 7 News Parenting Expert Dr. Sally.
7 Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Many parents don't realize it but they present it as a chore or a task or something that really isn't meaningful and fun to do."
Instead, teach your children that everyone has a job to do for the family to function.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Around the toddler age or even twos there's something very natural that happens, children like to help."
Start, by finding a task that sparks your child's interest. Next read them a story or show them a video about a responsible child. Then once your child's old enough, create a chart and let them check off their accomplishments.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "That act of checking it off actually brings pleasure to the child and that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling that he was counted on to do something and he did it."
And finally, follow the fair, firm and positive rule. Be fair -- by asking for help. Firm -- by withholding a favorite pasttime for not doing their chores. And positive -- by thanking them for being responsible.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "The goal is to see your child actually turn around and feel the joy of playing his role in the family."
Althea's says the fair, firm and positive approach is working with Bryce not only is he not acting up in school anymore, he's even making his bed at home without even being asked.
Althea Walden: "It's all good, he's doing good and I'm proud of him."
Parents, our expert says you can also choose to offer a special reward at the end of the week. But if your child still acts up, make sure it's clear there will be consequences.
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