Healthy Kids    

5 best ways to raise responsible kids



Children need adults to care for them. In the beginning, parents must do everything for them. But as they grow, adults need to teach them, and then let go so they can grow.

Allowing children to try, perhaps to fail, and then try again is one way to help them grow. Here are some others:

1. Experiment a little. Much of a child's self-esteem comes from his belief that a parent values his ideas and goals.

Allow your child to experiment with blocks, playthings, arts and crafts, recyclables even if it means making a mess every now and then.


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Little fingers learn to manipulate items, turning whims into reality. What a great start for creativity and an I-can-do-it attitude!

2. Answer questions. Children who can do many tasks well usually understand the workings of the tools they use. Someone has answered their questions along the way.

Be a parent who answers a child's countless questions. Explain, explain, explain. If he knows how the toilet works, for instance, he'll be more likely to use it correctly.

3. Let him try. As you work with your child on a task, stop and ask yourself, "Could he try this?" For instance, as you wrap a gift for a friend's party, allow your child to choose the gift tag, peel off the price label, or hold the paper down as you tape.

4. Don't interfere. When your child is trying to plant a seed in the back yard and all appears to be a disaster, don't take over the project. More important than a perfectly planted seed is the feeling of accomplishment, of having done a task on his own.

5. Admit mistakes. When a parent admits his or her own failures, a child realizes that everyone struggles to do things correctly. Adults know failure is a part of success. Teach your child to overcome frustration by acknowledging setbacks as you encounter them.


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"Uh-oh. I put three cups of sugar in this cake." Now you have a chance to show calm in the face of adversity. Show him how you try to solve the problem by talking about your problem-solving technique: "Maybe I should just increase the recipe."

While children mature at different rates, most are helped (or harmed!) by what parents do and say. By our very words and actions, we may encourage or discourage our children to take on increasing responsibilities.

Courtesy www.GrowingChild.com