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How To Make Your Kids Responsible And Productive

How To Make Your Kids Responsible And Productive

Raising responsible and productive children can seem like an uphill battle in today’s world. Kids are exposed to technology that provides instant gratification in most areas of their lives. It takes a concerted effort to make kids responsible and productive when it comes to chores, homework, and other responsibilities.

Here are a few ways to make your kids responsible and productive.

Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Children aren’t born knowing how to solve problems. Many kids give up without trying or think there’s only one way to solve a problem. Teach your child that solving a problem can take multiple efforts. Play games that teach your child how to solve problems. Give your child puzzles to solve and play games that encourage creative thinking.

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Give your child a task and ask him to come up with at least five ways to solve the problem. For example, ask him how he could move one object from the chair to the table without using his hands. See how many creative solutions he can come up with and discuss the many solutions to the problem.

Assign Chores

Assign chores to your child to help them behave responsibly. Even young children can perform simple tasks, such as putting their dishes in the sink. Older children should be given daily chores and over time, they should require less reminders to get their chores done.

Avoid nagging your child to get their chores done. If you nag your kids, they’re less likely to take responsibility to remember what they have to get done. Instead, provide consequences if they don’t complete their chores on time.

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Motivate Your Child with Rewards

Give your child rewards for a job well done. Just like adults receive a pay check for showing up to work and doing their job, kids should earn some sort of reward for doing their jobs as well.

Provide your child with an allowance for completing their chores. Create rules about how much of their money they can spend and how much needs to be saved so you can teach your child to be responsible with money.

Establish a Schedule

Create a schedule that will help your child to be productive. Help your child set aside time to do their school work, finish their chores, and complete their daily tasks.

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Teach your child to get their work done before playing. When kids understand that they can have free time to play outside or use their electronics once their work is done, they are much more motivated to be productive.

Set Time Limits on Electronics 

Help your child establish healthy habits by setting time limits on electronics. Usually two hours of screen time, including TV, video games, and computer games, is plenty.

Encourage your child to have other interests and activities that don’t involve electronics. Well-rounded kids are likely to participate in sports, clubs, and other activities that keep them too busy to be glued to the TV.

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Provide Consequences When Necessary

Provide a consequence when your child doesn’t behave responsibly. When you give them a consequence, it will help them learn from their mistakes.

Sometimes natural consequences are enough to teach your child a lesson. If your child doesn’t get their homework done, receiving a zero might be consequence enough for them. However, sometimes, additional consequences need to be imposed. Consider taking away extra privileges, such as electronics, until your child is able to show that they can behave responsibly again.

Make it clear what they needs to do to get their privileges restored. For example, tell them they can earn their electronics back once they make up the work that they are missing at school. That places the responsibility back on them to get it done.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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