Monthly Article Archives: November 1999

Fostering Responsibility in Children: Chores or Contributions? – Part IRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In many of my workshops and in my clinical practice I have been asked questions about the most effective ways to teach children to be responsible. Frequently, these questions are posed by parents and teachers who are frustrated by children who do not follow through on what is expected. A sample of such questions includes: “How can I get my son to do his chores? He says I’m always nagging him.” “How can I get my daughter to make her) bed?” “How can I get my daughter to do her homework?” “How can I get my son to remember to clean his room?” “How can I motivate my students to complete their assignments?” In this and my next column I will describe one approach for teaching children to be responsible, an approach that has the added benefit of fostering an attitude of caring and compassion in our children. The ideas in this column began to take shape from research I did a number of years ago when I asked adults to describe one of their fondest memories of school, a memory in which a teacher said or did something that enhanced their self-esteem. I was somewhat surprised at first by

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