As parents, most of us, feel like there are certain values we want to instill in our kids. We know its important to give our kids responsibilities.
So how do we raise responsible kids?
I mean, really. Isn’t that the goal? To raise happy productive members of society. But, how do we do that? What responsibilities do we give our kids? How much should we expect from them?
The expectations we have for our children has declined over the years.
I look back at my childhood and think about the responsibility our parents gave the five of us, and I’m thankful.
At the time I thought that the responsibilities our parents gave us were nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment. Now I look back thankful for all I learned and the values it created. I have to say, all five of us have grown to be pretty well-rounded responsible adults- if I do say so myself.
In my job as an RN, I get the chance to speak with many elderly, and love to listen to their stories of how life used to be. Stories of hard work and going without. They tell stories of things kids in today’s world wouldn’t even think of doing or be expected to do. But you know what, they all seem to reminisce about these memories fondly. They usually end up pointing out how these responsibilities affected their roles in adulthood for the better.
This has me thinking. I probably don’t give my children enough credit nor do I expect enough. They are capable of more than they know. And if we as their parents don’t make sure they know that, who will? After all, we live in a society of “everyone gets a trophy”.
What do we do about it?
So how do we make sure our kiddos grow up to be responsible, self-sufficient adults? I have to say there is no one way. We keep pushing them- it’s our job. It’s their’s to push back. We just have to be consistent and let our children know what is expected of them. In this day and age, it’s no longer necessary in most homes for our kids to do the work that was expected of kids in the past. That’s why it’s more and more important to find other ways to make sure our children have responsibilities to take on.
As my children get older this topic is on my mind more and more. After all, the years I have to really influence my children are quickly disappearing.
One thing we are venturing into this year is 4H. I am hoping this will be helpful in my quest to raise my kiddos into responsible adults.
A few values I hope to instill in my kids through 4H.
First of all, I hope they come to realize what a big responsibility it is to care for and raise a living thing. This way as they become adults and have children of their own they are not shocked at the hard work it takes to care for a living thing.
They will see the reality of life and that all living things do die. My kids will know, that food does not just come from the grocery store but will have an understanding of the hard work, time, and sacrifices that go into the food they eat.
I hope to hell that I don’t raise entitled children. Maybe 4H can help with that also. The thought that my kids will grow up thinking they deserve something for nothing frightens me. I want to raise children that become adults that want to contribute to society, not only take from it. They should know that they will need to use their own money, sweat, and tears to get what they want in all aspects of life.
That being said I hope they learn that working together is not only more fun, but more effective and that you can accomplish so much more working as a team. Because of this, I hope they are always willing to lend a hand for the greater good.
They gain confidence. One of my daughters is very much an introvert and a lot of the time shy around unfamiliar people and definitely does not like to be put on the spot. – Not sure where she got this 😉 She has already expressed to me how nervous she will be to show her pig. I know that through this project she will be pushed out of her comfort zone to learn new social skills.
I hope they learn the value of money and gain experience with managing it. I will, of course, give them guidance on what to spend, what to save, what to give, and how to reinvest.
4H will help them to see the value in volunteering and generosity. Volunteering is expected and encouraged in the 4H program.
Lastly, I hope they learn that working hard for a goal usually pays off…but, also sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s life. It’s a hard lesson, but occasionally no matter how hard you work life can get in the way and things may not go the way you want. But in the end, I hope they learn to get back up and try again.
If you haven’t considered having your child participate in 4H, I would recommend it. It is a great program, I took lamb projects and all my sibling participated in swine. I believe I learned a lot from my time in the program.
Even though most of us aren’t lucky enough to live on a farm or ranch where chores for every member of the household is a necessity, an animal project forces kids to take on responsibilities they may otherwise not have had the chance to learn. 4H also offers many other projects and ways for your kids to be involved if an animal project is not an option for you. Check out this article on 10 different 4H projects, from the survival mom.
What are some ways you help to ensure your kids are responsible? Let me know in the comments below..
Whelp see ya!