While I'm sure that it won't get any easier as he grows older, I'm learning what works and what doesn't, as we go. He's in a space where I can see him testing the waters now. He wants more freedom and independence, and I want that for him. I just want to make sure that he learns the responsibility that goes hand-in-hand with that new-found freedom.
We started by giving him a few new responsibilities, and we reward him for following through. Like everything else, there's been some trial and error.
Here's what has worked well for us so far:
- Help them take responsibility for their own clothing. At almost 11 years old, we have started to have our son do his own laundry (with supervision). By washing, drying, and folding his own clothes, he's learning respect for the effort and time that's involved in that process. Gone are the days when barely worn clothing gets discarded in the laundry pile! He keeps his dresser organized and neat, because he knows firsthand how long it takes to fold it all and put it away now. He's doing a great job!
- Help them take responsibility for their own space. Both of our older children are responsible for their rooms. We deep clean their rooms once a week however, they are responsible for maintaining their space from day-to-day. They each make their own bed every day and are responsible for keeping their belongings orderly.
- Make television, Internet access and device use (computers, phones, and iPod's) a privilege, not a given. We're trying to impart the value of hard work to our children. By making these privileges that are available for allotted time intervals of 30 minutes when (and ONLY when) our children have taken care of their responsibilities, they are learning the value of hard work As adults, they will learn that the reward for their hard work and effort is a paycheck. This is a great way to start imparting that concept to children, early-on.
- Set a goal, and help them work towards it. Our son was intent on having his own smartphone. He had been asking for about a year and it was a great goal to work towards. After he had maintained his room for a few months without nagging, and had been keeping up with his laundry and other responsibilities, we purchased him a pre-paid NET10® wireless smartphone. After the initial purchase of the phone, we simply have to purchase prepaid wireless refill cards each month. I love that I can just grab the refill cards while grocery shopping at my local Giant Eagle Grocery Store. It's a win-win because it adds up to loyalty program and fuel rewards perks for me too! If he hasn't met his responsibilities, we can also choose to not refill the phone for the month;without penalty. It serves as a great incentive for him to continue doing well!
We think that prepaid NET10® and TracFone ® wireless phones and service are a great option for tweens and teens.
Buy Prepaid Wireless Cards at Giant Eagle and SAVE : Thru 7/29, Giant Eagle is featuring a coupon good for $5 off your next shopping trip when you spend $25 or more on participating prepaid wireless products.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Giant Eagle. The opinions and text are all mine.