How to teach a child responsibility?

How to teach a child responsibility?
How to teach a child responsibility?

To become an adult, your child will have to learn to take responsibility for their actions.

How to teach a child responsibility?

“I don’t know what to do,” complains Anna, mother of 21-year-old Sergey. - My son is in his fourth year of paid college. Of course, I pay for his studies, because education is very important. But I hoped that he would work a little, there is such a possibility. I even thought that soon I would be able to help me financially. However, recently he said that I am obliged to provide for him, because he is not going to work anywhere. We live together, I am already 55 years old, and I am afraid that I will not be able to support him for a long time. After all, he needs money for clothes, entertainment, and travel - he is not used to saving …"

Psychologists note that such complaints from parents about adult children are a very common phenomenon. Moreover, most often parents are convinced that until the age of 20-25 they should give the child everything - prosperity, education, a carefree life, housing … And then, when it becomes difficult to finance growing needs, parents suddenly discover that a grown son or daughter cannot imagine otherwise. At this point, conflicts are born.

"You're an adult and need to provide for yourself," says the parent. "What has changed?" - the child is sincerely surprised, in whose mind no changes really happened. He considers reproaches against him offensive.

“If I start a conversation about how it would be nice to work and be responsible for something, then in response I hear: “Again you are talking about money! You can’t talk about anything else,” says Alla, living with her 23-year-old son - and after all, all my life I tried only for him. Now he is angry, says that he will leave altogether, that I tortured him with nit-picking and my greed.”

Childhood Border

When does a child become an adult? Some believe that this happens on the day when he turns 18, others are convinced that studying at the institute still belongs to adolescence, and adulthood begins with going to work. There are also supporters of the views: "I will marry / wife, then you can breathe." The result of this blurring of boundaries often becomes a contradiction: on the one hand, adult decisions are required from an 18-20-year-old person, and on the other hand, they are not given the opportunity to independently manage their lives. And adults are at a loss: when does their child stop being a teenager?

At different times in different cultures, people have tried to solve this problem. And most often they drew the border artificially, with the help of rites and rituals. For example, most tribes in Australia and Africa have an initiation ritual. As a rule, the dramaturgy of the ritual is built on overcoming danger, the threat to life, often on dying, through which one must go through in order to move to another quality. This is the dying of childhood and the birth of a mature person. At a strictly defined age, a child undergoes initiation and from that moment is officially considered an adult.

There are no such rituals in our culture, so each family is forced to look for landmarks on its own. What can become a symptom of growing up? “The young individual,” the famous French psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto once wrote, “comes out of adolescence when the anxiety for him of his own parents does not have an inhibitory effect on him. What I say is not very pleasant for parents, but it is the truth that will help them see the picture clearly: their children have become adults, since they are able to free themselves from parental influence, thinking to themselves something like this: "Parents are parents, they are not change, and I do not seek to change them. They do not accept me as I am, so much the worse for them, I leave them. "And they leave without any feeling of guilt. At this moment of a sharp turning point, most parents tend to blame their children, because they make them suffer. Parents' anxiety grows: "What will happen to them, because they have no experience?.. "- and so on and so forth.

Replacing the ritual of initiation today, according to Francoise Dolto, can be a kind of youthful project, a dream, the implementation of which is associated with serious effort and even sometimes with danger. To make money on your own, to make an unusual, even risky journey - dreams about this indicate that a teenager is in a transitional phase from adolescence to adulthood. And how this transition will take place depends on the behavior of adults at this moment. It is best to feed this dream, not to contradict it. “If a teenager has any project,” says Dolto, “even if it is a long-term one, it will save him. He needs something to fuel his plans. This is what makes waiting bearable when you are in the purgatory of youth, in a state of impotence and economic dependence…”

Growing up school

But in order for a grown child to be able to bring his project, his dream to life, he must have the tools for this. And adolescence is the best time to teach a teenager to take responsibility for himself. Raising this quality in a child is like walking a tightrope, because you have to manage to find a balance between control, freedom and prudence.

1. Do not confuse responsibility with obedience and diligence

Often, parents dream of their child being able to take responsibility for himself, but at the same time subject him to strict control and demand total obedience. The child is obliged to answer for each of his misconduct - this is understood as responsibility. For example, parents say: “You have a terrible bedlam in your room! So that by the evening everything will be removed. And the conclusion will depend on how accurately the child completes this task: can he be responsible for himself or not? However, we all understand that the older the child, the more likely it is that he will not do what he is asked to do. Why? Yes, because he himself does not consider it a mess, no one asked his opinion and did not provide a choice. And all his fault - in disobedience. And to be responsible means to make decisions of your own free will, understand the need for action and bring it to the end. In a small child, this feeling can be "trained" - discuss together, give the opportunity to choose responsibilities (for example, around the house, caring for animals, etc.) and tell the "technology" of implementation.

2. Think of your child as a responsible person, tell him and others about it

The fact is that children in their assessments of themselves are guided by the assessments of adults. When you are convinced: “If you don’t force him, he will never do anything himself,” the child adopts this attitude. And really won't do anything without pressure. Try to change your internal attitudes from negative to positive: instead of “he is not able to make decisions” let it be “I trust the child, he is responsible for his actions and can take care of himself.” If you truly believe in this, he will believe and the child, which means he will act differently.

3. Do not hide information from your teenager about how much you spend on him

Many parents themselves do not consider how much a child costs them, believing that "he should have everything." When a son or daughter gets older, the costs increase - parents are often forced to limit themselves. But sometimes the child does not even suspect about it, getting used to the fact that all his needs are always satisfied.

4. Determine at what age the child will have to provide for himself

Let it be, for example, 18 years old or the end of the first year of college. And agree with your child about it in advance. Remind him from time to time: “In a year (two or three) you need to find a job, pay your expenses …” Be firm and consistent, carry out your decision, even if it seems to you that the child is not yet ready.

5. Do not rush to meet all the needs of the child

If a person has food on the table three times a day, if his apartment is always cleaned, clothes, a computer, books, money for vacation appear at the right time, then he simply has no incentives to become independent. In order to avoid quarrels, agree that you will gradually reduce your financial "presence" in the child's life. It is best to make a whole program - for a couple of years or a few months.

6. Learn to handle money

To do this, first you will have to talk with the child about how he sees his future, what salary he expects, what needs he has, etc. Then stipulate the rule of the financial report on all the money you have given out. This is how the child learns to control his expenses and be responsible for spending. (But, of course, do not extend this rule to the money that he earns himself.) And, finally, help gradually switch to self-sufficiency - draw up your personal budget, find a suitable job, separate housing. Keep in mind - a teenager and a young man should clearly know every day how much money he has for a week or a month.

7. Do not fall for provocations

It is quite natural that at first the child will try to return to the former warm place, where everything was given to him and nothing was demanded. Sometimes you will feel unbearably sorry for him, and you will catch yourself thinking: “Well, why should I buy her this dress?” or “Can’t I feed my only son?”

It depends on you now whether your grown child will be able to become an adult free person who is able to take responsibility for himself and for his loved ones. If you are calm, benevolent, but firm, your efforts will return to you with gratitude. As, for example, it happened to Marina, the mother of 20-year-old Anya: “In the 10th grade, my daughter began an affair, just a nightmare for us parents. The boy went to the gold medal, he started everything, his daughter abandoned her studies altogether. Scandals began, in the 11th grade in the first half of the year shone deuces, but she did not care. I had to run around the teachers and "negotiate". The daughter and her boy acted as Romeo and Juliet, who are not allowed to live and love by evil relatives. To all my "screams" there was one answer: "I am an adult independent person and I live as I want." Time passed, exams and admission to the institute were coming. I was looking for ways out, it seemed to me that at any cost it was necessary to shove her into a university, but how else? Anya was sure that this was exactly what would happen, that she would "do it".

But one day I suddenly realized what to do. In response to the next "I am an adult, I myself" I answered: "An adult independent person lives on his own money and does not depend on others." I offered her to move after school to an apartment (which we bought her three years ago, for the future) and my help in getting a job as a secretary. And that's it. No institutions, tutors, bribes, money. She thought it was a joke, screaming that she would not go to work. However, after graduation, her things were moved to a renovated apartment, and I gave her the phone number she was supposed to call to get her interview.

The following year, the daughter lived on the modest salary of a secretary, worked 8 hours a day, got up at 6 in the morning to be in time for work. She broke up with the boy after six months of marriage. She went to the courses herself and entered the institute in the summer.

I must say that we talked a little that year. It was hard for me to force myself NOT to call her every day, NOT to find out if she was back home, how she was doing. But I told myself that I'm tearing this umbilical cord - it's better for my daughter in the first place.

Exactly one year later, I "received" another person who thanked me for this "surgery". Since then, my daughter and I have been great friends, Anya graduated from the institute and found a new job. She never asks me for anything and is very grateful when I give her gifts. She has a new boyfriend and we are house friends.”

What to read

Francoise Dolto "On the side of a teenager"

Julia Gippenreiter “We continue to communicate with the child. Right?”

Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lecturer

"Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens"

Joline Gofrey

"How to teach a child to handle money"

Useful addresses - teaching financial literacy to children and parents

www:// - jobs for young professionals - work for students - work for schoolchildren, advice, vacancies, documents

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