Teach Kids to be Self-Sufficient and Responsible
How do we teach kids to be self-sufficient and responsible? I asked Tricia Davidson, productivity coach, to share some of her top tips for families.
Do you ever find yourself swamped with things to do, rushing from activity to activity, and realizing that your school-aged kid could have:
- helped you with some of those chores or
- got his/her tasks done as well?
As a productivity coach and in Occupational Therapy for 8+ years, parents are always seeking a method to keep their kids accountable in the home (and at school). Let’s face it, there is way too much to do in a day, and our children can help out on the regular.
Teach kids to be self-sufficient with daily routines!
During the week, my son has a morning routine and an evening routine. It is a straightforward process to help him from the moment of waking up to leaving the house.
I don’t know if you have the same issues, but my son used to think that waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and going to relax and watch TV was a good morning routine. Um no kid, you actually have a lot more things to do before you can earn that television time. Now it has become so routine that he doesn’t look at it anymore unless the routine has changed.
You can’t just make any ole’ schedule and put it up on the wall.
A good visual schedule is going to give the best results when it is:
- simple (minimal distractions on the page)
- to the point (not wordy)
- and achievable (step by step).
It’s also essential to put the schedule somewhere close to where he will be performing the activities to limit the amount of running back and forth wasting time. My son’s morning routine is in the hallway, between his bathroom and bedroom, and his evening routine is near his bedroom door.
Here are a few tips for using visual schedules to teach kids to be self-sufficient:
Pictures – If the words are too complicated, use pictures. You can always google search “get dressed,” and lots of good pictures will come up.
Location – Print out several copies and place them in different areas throughout the house, as a way to keep your kids on their feet, when reminding them of their chores.
Parent Copy – Always take a picture of the schedule once you put it up. There will come a time when someone else will have to babysit, and you’ll want to remember the schedule.
Alarm – Set yourself an alarm to help you remember when your kids’ chores start.
Amazon Echo – You can set up a morning routine and evening routine in the app. As soon as I walk in the door, my phone alerts the Echo, “Hello son, time to start your evening routine,” and it goes through the list and repeats it half an hour later.
Reward – Your children want to earn something for their hard work in the beginning. Find out what it is, and give it to them the same day. It has to be a reasonable reward like 20 minutes of game time, or a $5 blind bag, extra sleep time, or McDonald’s, given the same day.
Having a visual schedule is the best way to keep your child accountable, helps with independence, and really teaches kids to be self-sufficient and responsible. Also, consistency is key! Use tools like an alarm on your phone, Alexa, Siri, to help you get your kids on task an focus on those chores.
Need help with picking the right chores for your child? Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toodles, have fun creating a routine with these free visual schedule printables.
Tricia Davidson is an Occupational Therapy Asst. that specializes in productivity, organization and time management.
You can hire her to help you develop a system that will boost your child’s productivity and teach them to be self-sufficient at home and in the classroom.
She is also passionate about helping moms cultivate healthy organizational habits, which will then create balance and time to pursue their passion projects.
Visit her website, triciadavidson.com, to learn more, download her latest organizational freebie, or schedule a 45-minute discovery call.