Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Gift of Self-Reliance

In coming up with your New year's resolution as a parent, why not commit to giving your kids the gift of self-reliance instead? Then, list down concrete strategies you can take that will give them enough opportunities to learn, develop, practice and make it a habit. Divide the strategies according to the ease and frequency it can be done, as well as considering if they are age-appropriate.

Here are example of things that will help them develop this wonderful trait:
~ Doing their own beds and cleaning their own rooms
~ Other household chores
~ Budgeting their own allowance
~ Helping you budget the weekly groceries
~ Planning a weekend or family trip
~ Coming up with ways to contribute to family purchases
~ Plan family events/parties
~ Create productions for family entertainment
~ Recycle and Reuse Program in the home
~ Babysitting or Caring for Pets

Say you asked your kids to plan the next family trip. They get to choose the venue and activities within a designated budget so they would also have to do the sourcing of service providers (from transportation to hotels to tour guides). All the research work will come in handy someday when you'd need them to help out finding Mopar parts suppliers or air condition cleaners. But more importantly, they learn that they CAN do things, and that the amount of effort and creativity they put into it is usually congruent to the results.

Now, the important thing is you ease them into it and that it becomes a lifestyle, rather than an enforced something they will forever rage about. Explain the benefits, start small, progress slowly but surely and always commend positive results. Highlight how their contributions helped exactly.

Make do without old resolutions that you really cannot feel passion for. Be a more intentional parent instead.

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