Teach children the value of being responsible


Published: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Happy New Year!

We have all survived the commercialization of the holidays and now we should concentrate on issues that really make a difference in our lives.

There are several things that come to mind as we approach a brand new year. The most visible is the family unit and how we value the lessons we learn from day to day. Also, how we pass these lessons along to our children.

In this new year, I have made a promise to myself to be a better parent, grandparent, husband and better citizen in my community. In other words, I have made my New Year's resolution, which I plan to abide by for the new year ahead.

Like many other adults though, I find myself often falling short of my goals as I make my promises to lose weight, exercise more, become more organized in my duties at work, avoid things that I know are not good for me as a person, etc. The list goes on.

However, when I review my plan for self-improvement, at the top of my list is my organizational skills and putting forth the proper preparation to be successful at my own expectations.

In most institutions of learning, regardless of the level, we find that our highly successful students are very organized and have a tremendous amount of structure in their lives.

Parents who are raising children in their home ought to provide some guidance in a planned routine for the purpose of achieving at the highest level in their education.

Children must be taught at an early age to bear some responsibility in the home as it pertains to their growth and development. The question is how does one do this? Below are some tips:

· Instruct children at an early age to understand the value of having their environment/room clean and clear of clutter.

· Involve them in the overall upkeep of the house and their work station at home. Help them organize their book bags, folders and even their thoughts on how to approach an assignment. Help them get started.

· Get them to understand that there are rules governing the family and all must abide by these rules. Show that you care by participating in their activities.

· Teach them that study time in the home will be a part of the daily routine.

· Television will be used only when all home work and others duties have been completed.

· Limit the amount of telephone calls when the family is engaged in wholesome family activities.

· Check and monitor children's progress continuously while at home.

· Provide opportunities for children to sit down as a family to discuss issues that may concern them.

· Stress the importance of good work ethics and working hard to achieve their goals.

· Teach children that responsibility and understanding accountability could result in good decision-making.

· Tell them that there are consequences for one's action, which can be negative or positive.

Getting children to buy into the concept of family, teamwork and strong organizational pursuits will produce better relationships, greater self-

esteem, character development, improved attitude and better grades.

If these qualities are taught at an early age, these lessons will be with them for a life time. In this new year, let's keep our resolutions throughout the year as we address the needs of our children.

Philoron A. Wright Sr. is assistant to the superintendent of community and schools for Alachua County Public Schools.

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