Responsibility to Home and Family
To make your daughter a responsible citizen, make her a full participant not only by allowing her to share in the privileges of your home and family but also by allowing her to share in the duties that your household requires. Only by being denied neither the pleasures nor the pains that come with managing your hearth and home can she develop in her capacity to pitch in when needed.
Increase Her Responsibility
If you do not allow your girl to contribute to running your home, she will feel useless. If she is expected only to consume food and fresh laundry without helping out in the preparing or supplying of either, she won't feel productive. Her sense of nonproductivity will hurt her. Why strive to become more responsible when no one expects you to?
Work Can Be Fun
After a long day at school where your girl's mind gets a workout, her body needs a workout too. Watching TV or playing video games for hours leads to a couch-potato mentality and lazy lifestyle, which you do not want for your girl. Her body requires frequent periods of movement every day or the calories pile on. These days, preteen and teenage girls tend to be heavier than in the past, so getting her to move is key.
A 2005 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that third-graders through twelfth-graders spend — on the average — almost six and a half hours per day watching TV and videos, listening to music, playing video games, and using the computer.
Of course, some downtime is necessary for your growing girl but doing routine household chores can be an activity that combines work and fun. Your daughter can dispatch her housekeeping tasks while listening to the radio or her iPod, humming along as she loads or empties the dishwasher. Let her organize her list of to-dos any way she wants to, just as long as she does the job.
A special plus in assigning chores from the time she is little is that it cuts down your burden. If you do all the housework, you become resentful. Parents who are martyrs may think they are saints when in reality they fall short of what parents should do: Raise a child who is encouraged to do her or his best, not only at school but also at home. You certainly want your girl to do her part.