Take a serious look in the mirror to see if your kid's unhelpful attitude may be mirrored from your attitude. Here are a few questions to help you assess just how well you are boosting your kids' attitude or if your own attitude just may be derailing it:
□ Do you expect your kids to lend a hand around the house? For instance, do your kids have set chores, responsibilities, or duties? Is your kid clear on those chores? Do you consistently expect those duties to be completed? Or do you feel you are doing your kids a favor by not requiring them to help at home because they are so busy?
□ Do you reward your kids for helping? Do they expect to be compensated for any help they provide? Always providing monetary compensations or material treats for helpful gestures makes kids learn to expect payment. Is that the attitude you want in your child?
□ Do you come to your child's rescue and complete her assigned tasks or make an excuse for her lack of helpfulness? Have you noticed other members of your family—siblings, relatives, partner—finishing her chores and letting her off the hook? What message is that sending to her?
□ Are your standards of perfectionism so high that you don't want your kid to help because the end product won't be good enough or you just find yourself redoing the task so it meets your standards?
□ Do your kids know that you value helpfulness? Have you stressed your beliefs to your kids? How often do you talk to your kids about helpfulness and why it is important?
□ Do you consistently thank those who help you, or do you take them for granted or forget to voice your appreciation?
To learn new behaviors, you need good models to copy, so think how often your kids see you acknowledging helpful behaviors. Before you begin tuning up the attitude in your kid, think how you can tune up helpfulness in your behavior. What is the first step you need to take to tune up helpfulness in yourself as an example to your sons or daughters? Write down changes you need to make.
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