Step Give Your Kids a Clear Message About Responsible Attitudes

Take time to explain your beliefs and expectations about responsibilities. Consider developing a family motto about responsibility. A father in Atlanta told me that conveying this life message to his kids was so important that they spent an afternoon together brainstorming family anthems about responsibility such as: "We keep our word," "We always do our best," "We can be counted on."They wrote them on index cards, and his kids taped them on their bedroom walls. Develop your own family anthem as a reminder that your family code is always to be responsible and that you expect your kids to convey that belief in their daily actions and attitude.

To assess your kids' understanding of those beliefs, pose questions such as these:

"What are things a responsible person would say and do?" "What responsibilities do you have in this house? Dad? Mom?

The other kids?" "What happens if you don't follow through on those responsibilities at home or school?" "How would that affect others?"

"What if I didn't go to work every day? What if I didn't pay the bills on time or take you to the doctor to get your shots on time?" "What if we didn't pay our taxes? What would happen then?"

Single Parenting Becoming the Best Parent For Your Child

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