Helping Children Learn Responsibility

Helping Children Learn Responsibility
I think the children that I sit for are extremely well behaved and respectful, but sometimes they forget to take care of their own belongings. Here's one of the things that I was taught when I was growing up. When I asked my mom where my shoes were, she would say "I haven't worn your shoes in over a month" or, "they're up in Aunt Maggie's Room behind the clock" and that would make us laugh because we didn't have an Aunt Maggie. So she gave us a funny answer to let us know that it was our responsibility.
I've started using that for the kids I sit for, and it works. It makes them laugh, and I don't have to say a lot. I'll point to the coat, and they'll go hang it up. The other thing I use with them is to leave things the way that you found them. This works well with school-age children.

Sometimes if you ask the child to help you clean it up, or tell them that they have to clean up their own mess, it makes an impression. It may have been an accident, or out of a temper-tantrum or anger, or it may just be out of play. If you have the child help you clean it up, then they think twice about slamming something around again, or they try to be more careful when they're handling food, or something that can spill.

You have to be consistent. You don't explode. You're consistent with your request. Then the child understands!