The Chore of Teaching Kids Responsibility

Thursday, April 02 at 09:10 AM
Category: Personal Finance

It's no secret that teaching children to become responsible and independent adults is one of the most important tasks for a parent. However, what many parents don't often realize is those lessons should start when children are young. Here are some great ways to foster independence and responsibility in young children:

  • Give your kids chores. You can assign age-appropriate household responsibilities at every stage of your child's growth. You might, for example, ask a toddler or young child to pick up and put away their toys. A teenager can help with some of the household responsibilities, such as house cleaning or lawn mowing.
  • Give your children an allowance. Being independent requires your children to understand the importance of managing money. One of the easiest ways to foster financial education is to give your children an allowance for performing chores.
  • Open a bank account for your child. Another great way to teach children about money is to open a bank account, like Cool Blue Savings, in your child's name. Encourage your child to put a portion of their allowance in savings or to save their birthday and other gift money.
  • Let them do things themselves. Kids learn by doing. And while it may be easier for you to dress a young child in the morning for school, you'll be fostering independence and building your child's self-esteem by allowing him or her to do it independently. If you have a teenager, consider having them set their own alarm and wake up on their own.
  • Be a good role model. You may not realize it, but children learn the most not from listening to their parents but from emulating them. If your children see you working hard with your job and managing money wisely, they may do the same.
  • Praise your child. One of the best ways to encourage responsible behavior is to reinforce it. If your children do a great job on their tasks, be sure to praise them. If you pay them an allowance, consider giving them a bonus or raise for going above and beyond.
  • Be realistic. Start out small with your child's tasks, particularly when they are younger. As they grow older and successfully complete tasks, assign them new tasks.
While it's hard to see your children grow up, teaching them independence and a strong work ethic is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Best of all, it doesn't come with an expensive price tag.
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