I’ve seen many parents get themselves into trouble because their kids are smart or mature for their age and talk them into what they believe they deserve and are able to earn. However, other factors are involved, including environmental, social, and legal standards.
Remember, having to earn something is the major difference between rights and privileges. Kids must always work for their privileges. The main message is:
“If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, then put some responsibility on their shoulders” – Abigail Van Buren
The beauty of having your children earn their privileges, and the lessons that can be learned.
As the adult in the home, more often than not, creating peace in your home is up to you, so I hope these few ideas will find a useful place in your “toolbox”, and your home will be a place of strong relationships, a place of learning and a place where children thrive.
Maintaining peace in your home creates a positive environment where children feel secure and loved, and where family values can be taught and strong relationships built. Use these tools to help you build and maintain a peaceful home.
When your kid faces a natural consequence, he/she is facing the outcome of a decision he has made, whether or not the outcome of that decision is understood, as opposed to punishment, which is an imposed consequence for a decision that was made in spite of any understanding or warning the child may have been given. Which do you use?
The challenges and struggles are in the methods and approaches some families use to teach kids how to discriminate between right and wrong and how to learn accountability. So many parents resort to punishment when they feel nothing they have tried has worked.
Motivation starts with parents helping their kids identify and label privileges correctly. Once kids learn the difference between rights and privileges, they are more motivated to earn such privileges. These kids are less likely to have a sense of entitlement, or to be hurt in the long run by that sense of entitlement.
Let’s say you have a twelve-year-old boy who has enjoyed many privileges up to now – before you understood the principle of earning privileges. How are you going to help him understand that from now on, he needs to earn those privileges?
As I have mentioned before, the first step in motivating your child is for you to create a list of privileges you think may motivate your kids. Great start! Let’s check and make sure that any assumptions made are actually correct. Now it’s time to involve your kid.