Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Teaching children responsibility and avoiding entitlement

I just finished watching a webinar with Richard and Linda Eyre at It was a lovely hour of folding laundry, taking notes, and getting some great ideas for helping teach my children responsibility and avoiding entitlement. The Eyres have recently published a new book called The Entitlement Trap. Here are some of the things that I wanted to remember:

 For preschoolers, the best way to motivate them is through games and stories. One example is to create a Gunny Bag, a toy-eating monster who swoops down when the toys are left strewn about. Usually, the kids will hurry and put things away before Gunny Bag eats them. If not, the toys get eaten and put away until Saturday.Here's the part that was new to me, that I LOVE. On Saturday, Gunny Bag returns and regurgitates all the toys on the floor in a pile. At this point, the kids have a chance to put the toys where they belong. If they don't want to put them away or if they haven't missed the toys at all, Gunny Bag eats them again and the toys are donated to Goodwill.

At age 8 or 10 or 12, whatever age you decide, give your child a special journal. Have his name engraved on the front. After he opens it, have him turn to the very last page and write: Decisions I Have Made in Advance. Then have a conversation with him about what kinds of decisions he can make right now. Can you decide where you will be living in 15 years? Can you decide how many children you will have? Can you decide now that you're never going to cheat on a test?  Can you decide now that you will never use drugs? In your discussion, let your child suggest things that he can decide. Present role play scenarios to help him prepare for real-life situations where this decision will be questioned.

The webinar is completely free. It was a great motivator to get my laundry folded:)  I'm definitely going to check out the Eyres' book for more details on teaching responsibility. Click HERE if you'd like to see the webinar.

How do you teach your kids responsibility? Do you have a job chart? Allowance? What works at your house?


Marionberry Style said...

I love the perspectives the Eyres bring to the practice/approach of raising responsible kids. I am a school psychologist, so I definitely see the difference here at school of children who have dependable consequences at home versus children who "run the show" and have little responsibility/consequences. That lesson is probably the biggest gift you can give your child!

Great post!
XO - Marion

wannabegodly said...

Thanks for sharing this. I live in the Dark Ages in our part of the country & only have dial-up so can't watch the webinar, but I will have a look at the book since we need some helpful ideas around here. :)