Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Tips Before You Give Your Kids More Responsibilities

Kids want to feel like adults, and adults want their kids to be able to do more themselves. Therefore, giving your kids more responsibilities could seem like a perfect solution. However, you need to be smart with this plan, or you could find yourself really flummoxed. These four strategies will help you to increase responsibilities for your kids in the best possible way.

Be Age-Appropriate

You wouldn’t give a toddler the responsibility to take out the garbage every week, but you would have them pick up their toys. As a child grows up and matures, they should be advanced to the next stage of responsibility. Should you realize you haven’t been giving them as many responsibilities as you should, acting now is the best way to go. Put them on the hook for things you know they can take care of themselves and see how this helps to grow their responsibility overall.

Talk With Them

Whether your kids are asking for more responsibilities or you’re wanting to give them more, you need to talk to them about expectations. Having responsibilities doesn’t prove someone is responsible. They need to live up to what those responsibilities entail. Tell them plainly what your expectations are of them. Let them voice any questions or concerns they have. They shouldn’t try to avoid responsibilities, as they need to get used to them before they transition to adulthood.

Discuss Mistakes

Mistakes can be forgiven, but they can also teach a lot about how responsible your kids are willing to be. If you give your child the responsibility of owning a car but you have to constantly look for a “locksmith close to me” because they’re regularly locking their keys in the car, you may need to call a meeting. Some responsibilities might need to be revoked until they’ve proven that they can be trusted with them again.

Talk to Others

Having other parents in your peer group is very useful in terms of being able to discuss different practices that work best. No two parenting styles are alike, but it’s still good to solicit advice from others. Remember to not only rely on these opinions, because you’ll never reach anything close to an absolute consensus about matters like giving children more responsibilities.

Giving your kids more responsibilities tells them that you have high expectations for them. This kind of trust can be easy to break, especially if they’re not pulling their weight. By keeping these tips in mind, you can give them more responsibilities without feeling like you’re not prepared to do so.

Tim Esterdahl

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