One Huge Lesson For Us Parents | One Big Win For Our Kids

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School days are quickly approaching and usually I would feel anxious because I used to dread the chaos of the busy weekday mornings, after school and weekends. Having a baby who sis constantly on the move and trying to get a 9 year old, dressed, fed, and responsibilities completed feels like a marathon that I complete, barely, but out of breath and wondering how I even made it.  Do you all know what I’m talking about here? That feeling that everyone's routine is on your shoulders and you are the conductor to ensure completion?

I have been fortunate to have been raised by my mother who had a very successful career as a Child & Youth Counselor and a sister who has decided to follow in her footsteps. With all their schooling and my innate desire to make sure I am raising these girls to the best of my ability, their knowledge and guidance is a constant in my life. I mean how lucky am I to get their free, professional, advice? 

Both my sister and mother have made me a true believer in the power of responsibility and accountability and teaching the natural consequences for children and it's immense ability to create some major life lessons in kids. 

Having a good grasp of these concepts and not being able to carry on like this it was time to pass some of the weight. Some may see this as a selfish move but I truly believe that the sooner you can instill responsibility the better. So yes, this helps us out but looking at the long run this helps the girls out for the rest of their life. So In true Meredith style refusing to “accept” that this is the way it is and always use all tools necessary to make any life challenges the slightest bit easier if I can, I did.

Let's pause here before I go on.

Children, believe it or not, love boundaries. When they know you have set them (and more importantly stick to them) they know you care about them and their well-being. They prepare them for the real world and help socialize them. 

Responsibilities, not to be confused with accountability, both very important and very different, help kids learn time management, organization, work ethic, life skills, contribution to the greater good, and the list goes on.

For a quick second I just want to touch on the difference between Responsibility and Accountability and the Consequences (outcomes).

Responsibility: Something that you are responsible for. When you do it, you are the only one to make it happen. For example: You are responsible to do homework each night. You are responsible to do your laundry. Clean up after yourself. To eat a healthy balanced diet. 

Accountability: Is when you are the only one who can take the responsibility for the outcome. If the homework doesn't get done you are the one to take the consequence. If you didn't do your laundry and have nothing to wear you were accountable. 

Consequence: The outcome based on what you did or didn't do. You studied for your test and got a great mark, that is the consequence of your actions. Consequences are not always negative, they are simply the outcome of the actions. 

My first step was to determine what we needed to have our 9 year old be responsible for. With the help of one of my favourite websites, Psychology Today, and matching that to our own life we came up with a strong, realistic list. 

So here it is, her daily routines and responsibilities. We have this posted on the back of her bedroom door and she uses it everyday (even in the summer!) 

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I don’t expect her to memorize this list but this is going to help us out for when we are doing the 101 other things and she wants to play on her laptop we can ask her if everything on her list is done (and we didn’t have to rhyme out the list out loud typically forgetting a few items ourselves.)

So far this has been such a great tool. She has been excited to use it and to see what’s up next in her day. NOTE! Kids LOVE routine and consistency. It helps them with a sense of predictability and stability.

I can tell you that not having to try and remember all that needs doing morning noon and night has freed up my mind and that is a big win for this busy mom.  

Good luck to all you parents out there who are fighting the same battles and I hope for you that you don’t just accept it and stop the madness! It can be done!  Bring on the school morning madness! 

Want to build a list for your kids? Click TEACH ME for Psychology Today's Responsibilities by Age Guide.

To read more on the Psychology behind Responsibilities for Children click the button below.

thanks for stopping by! xo

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