Occasional Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-08-2014
Re: Teaching Responsibility for decisions
[ Edited ]

Teaching responsibility is very important. I think over-coddling children and failing to teach basic principles such as manners, responsibility, empathy, and common decency are current trends contributing to many societal problems. These early lessons make a huge difference later in life in areas including the ability to hold gainful employment, maintain relationships, and general productivity in the community. Many parents seem to take protectiveness to such extremes that the children’s emotional and cognitive growth become stunted.



To answer your question, I would probably send her to school in a non-school cardigan to prevent illness. Let her face the teachers' wrath.... She will have to explain what happened and own-up to her (recurring) mistake. This will create some mild cognitive dissonance, which could psychologically motivate her to change her behavior (Unfortunately, it could also work the other way – to stop caring about what the teacher thinks; See http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/f/dissonance.htm ). I believe that cognitive dissonance, if used carefully, can be a healthy and useful parenting tool.



Second, I would have her clean her room properly, preferably that night, but at least by the following weekend. Have her do the laundry, or at least pile it together, organize her closets (because she has a spare that she could not find), and begin a routine of preparing her clothes/supplies for the next day the previous night.



This consequence will teach owning-up to your mistakes, help solve the disorganization problem, and help to prevent last minute searches for missing items on the way out the door. Hopefully, this lesson will prevent her from forgetting her cardigan at school in the first place (lest she need to reorganize her room again). Keeping the consequence closely tied to the behavioral problem seems to help the lesson sink in. 



I recently had a problem with my five year old "forgetting" her homework. The first couple of times I figured that it was just her age. At least one of those times, the teacher was out sick and she had a substitute teacher. The third time, I saw a troublesome pattern forming. I notified the teacher of the issue and made sure the homework was made-up. I created homework in the area most in need of attention and put her on restriction from screen time for a week. It wasn't about the homework grade, because in kindergarten homework doesn't account for much of the grade. I suspected that after the first two times (Which I do believe were mistakes and mix-ups), she connected "no homework equals more free time, equals more screen time." To prevent an ongoing problem, I took away the motivator and made clear that "forgetting" is not an excuse for not doing the work. She ended up doing more work by forgetting to bring home the original work.



Hope this helps! Good luck on your parenting adventure. :smileyhappy:  



*Edited to correct link