If your kid continues displaying this attitude, it's time to set a consequence; your child must learn to be accountable for his actions.There should be a consequence, and the most effective ones always fit the crime, cause a bit of misery (so your kid will want to change his attitude), and are consistently enforced. Above all remember, no more excusing your child and no more "rescuing." Here are a few examples of logical consequences for being irresponsible:
• Didn't clear up a food mess. If your younger child has left her ice cream cone to melt on the counter, enforce the rule: "No more ice cream cone for two days."
• Forgets to put dirty clothes in the hamper. If your kid doesn't put her dirty clothes in the hamper, she won't have clean ones and must wait until the next wash cycle.
• Failure to do chores. If kids are paid for chores, withhold their allowances.
• Destructiveness of property. Anything that your kid broke, tore, or lost (whether the property belongs to your kid or another), he must replace or repair it. He also must pay for it by earning the money. If he has none, make a list of house chores he can do with an appropriate price value (vacuuming: $2.00; raking: $3.50) to pay off the damaged property.
• Unfinished assignments. If homework isn't finished by a predetermined time—ideally, the same time each night— your kid knows he will lose a desired privilege either that evening or the following day.
• Forgets to bring lunch money. She doesn't eat lunch that day, and she will survive. Chances are also high she will remember to bring money in the future, especially if she knows you won't be rescuing her.
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