3 keys to raising healthy, responsible children

Yes, even children can learn to be responsible beings -- if they have the right rules in place.  These guidelines will show you how to steer your child in the right direction.

3 keys to raising healthy, responsible children

1. Get the TV out of the bedroom

Studies find that kids who have televisions in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight. But here are other crucial reasons for ditching the tube: when a TV is in a child's bedroom, you have no control over what he's watching, nor do you have any opportunities for family bonding time — when everyone piles onto the couch to watch a favourite show

2. Get them used to doing chores from a young age

There are moms who still make their high school kids' lunches every day. Don't find yourself in this situation! By the time your two-year-old begins talking, he's old enough to start helping around the house.

3. Chores for all ages

Here are some age-appropriate chores to give your kids to teach them responsibility and how a household is run.

  • Two to four years old: Ask them to put toys away, help to set the table and put dirty laundry in the laundry basket.
  • Five to seven years old: They should begin emptying the dishwasher (at least putting the silverware away), setting and clearing the table, emptying trash baskets and doing light yard work with your guidance (like pulling weeds).
  • Eight to 10 years old: Kids should be changing sheets, dusting, vacuuming, putting away laundry and bringing groceries into the house.
  • 11 and older: They're ready for almost any tasks that you can throw at them. This might include cleaning bathrooms, mopping floors, washing and folding laundry, putting away groceries and simple meal preparation.

4. Teach them how chequing accounts work

If you really want to teach your teen about money, then stop handing over the credit card and the allowance. Instead, put your kid on a budget, open a chequing account for him or her, and let your teen really learn to manage money. Tell your kid that all clothing, movies, entertainment, fast food and cell phone bills come out of his or her chequing account (which you fund).

If your son or daughter has a job, then cut back the amount you're funding by the amount they're making. Just make sure you also set up a savings account for your teen and insist that at least one-third of any savings or money from you be socked away.

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