In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's List for Late-in-Life Moms

10 Ways to Encourage Self-Reliant Behavior

Last Friday, I listed reasons 1-5. Today I'll finish the list.

6. Ask your child if he'd like to learn something. "What would you like to learn about cooking, washing windows or cleaning tools in the garage?" You might be surprised! But this single question offers a wonderful opportunity to build on your child's own interests.

7. Focus on specific tasks. Identify what your child can do now, and then look ahead to what he'll be ready to attempt at the next stage. This allows your child to build new skills into what he already knows.

8. Increase each child's level of responsibility. Consider your personal comfort levels as your child adds new areas of responsibility. Follow your personal parenting time line, but continually increase each child's responsibilities.

9. Support your child as he learns. If he is going to take out the garbage every morning before school, he might need to learn how to set an alarm clock that will wake him up five minutes earlier. If he has several tasks to complete on a weekend, show him how to make a list.

10. Remind your child of new areas of competence. After a child has successfully learned something new, ask, "What did you learn from this?" Remind the child about his new areas of competence.

~Mary Manz Simon
Condensed from "The Year-Round Parent"
From Lists to Live By: The Third Collection

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