One thing that goes to the heart of connecting is trust. Your child needs to know she can trust you and that you trust her. Giving her responsibility is a wonderful exercise in trust.
Responsibility is important in everyone’s life. Even a 3 year old needs to know that she has value through her efforts and she is needed. Give her a few, simple jobs that are her responsibility. Clearing the cups from the table after each meal, throwing away baby brother’s diapers, putting her pajamas in the hamper. As she gets older the level of difficulty and importance grows. Soon she will be able to have responsibilities that, if not done, will affect the family. She needs that. She needs to be trusted.
Teens, especially, need responsibility. They are bursting toward adulthood and their future seems unsure. One thing you can give them for certain is knowing how to be responsible and trustworthy in whatever they do.
Sit down together and tell her what her responsibilities are. Talk about it. Answer her questions and make sure she understands exactly what is expected and then tell her you trust her to do them. If she doesn’t do it well, do it with her a few times or stand there and cheerfully help her through. If she has trouble keeping up, whittle it down to just a few. But remember, with responsibility come privilege. If she does her job well, she gets to do things that are only for you and her to do, like sit on the porch and swing after a job well done or have a special snack that is just for the workers.
Giving your child responsibilities is an important part of making that trust connection.
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