The following steps will help you teach your children to be responsible.
Give your children a task they can handle. Ask them to tell you what they think the completed task will look like. This is so you know they understand what you are asking of them and they will be able to see if they completed it correctly
Hope the child “blows it”. This provides your child with an opportunity to learn a “real world” lesson. If your child learns a life lesson today at age 6, it will be a lot less expensive than at age 16.
Teach with equal parts empathy and consequence. Lay on the empathy (heavy) before delivering the consequence or “bad news”. Children can’t learn how their mistakes hurt them if parents get angry. Showing empathy or sorrow helps the child think more about their life choices and decisions and less time on their parents anger.
Give the same task again. This helps your child see that people learn from their mistakes.
The following steps for teaching your child to solve their own problems are techniques taught in Love and Logic.
Empathy ~ Show them you are sorry this problem is facing them. “How sad”, “I bet that hurt”, “What a bummer”, “Gee that’s terrible.”, “Wow, what a mess.”
Send them the “Power Message” ~ “What do you think you are going to do about it?” Let me know what you come up with. I really care.”, How are you going to handle it?” (Be sincere)
Offer choices ~ Offer good and bad choices but start with some bad choices. After each choice, go to the next step ~ let them tell you the consequence if they make this choice. A bad choice might be throw their toys away so there’s no mess anymore. A good choice would be put the toys in special containers where they belong so he/she will have them next time they want to play. Remember to only give choices you can live with.
Have the child state the consequence ~ Ask them how this would work. If they don’t do their chore until after supper what would that mean. They would have to do their chore during TV time.
For more information, http://www.loveandlogic.com