Thursday, March 12, 2009

Raising responsible kids

Last year Keira and I were in Girlscouts, and we liked it OK because we'd never done anything like that before, but THIS year we were fortunate enough to find this amazing 4-H group in Sunnyside. Keira's become involved in art, photography, drama, cooking, and will soon be doing gardening as well. I've helped by being the drama leader. What's so incredible is that we would never be able to do any of these things if it weren't for this organization! Keira worked on a poster for the poster contest, we've created a lollipop tree for the carnival, I helped her prepare an entire demonstration about painting/art, and I think she learned a lot even though she didn't actually give her presentation. She worked on a commercial for cooking, has been practicing her new cooking skills on occasion. Next month is the fashion revue. She is to use a budget and shop for a complete outfit that she will model in the show, and be questioned about and judged on. I'm helping out by being a commentator for the show and bringing refreshments. Then in May we're preparing for the talent show, and she'll be dancing, in a skit, and in a puppet show as well. I'm helping out by directing the skits/puppet show, and of course paying for her extra lessons/choreography to get ready for the dance. It's a lot of work to start out for me as a parent, but the idea is to teach her how to do these things herself, and then ease off. Eventually she'll learn to do it all herself and be more independent.

What I love about the 4H group is that it's not so much on donations of money, but on donations of time, and the focus is on teaching children to be independent and responsible...

On THAT note, I'm tearing my hair out trying to get Keira to be more responsible. I instituted a token system in our house for her. She earns tokens each day by doing her chores. The better she does her chores, if she does them without being asked, if she does extra chores, the more tokens she recieves. She can trade them in for rewards like treats, extra TV or PSP time, packs of gum, trips to the dollar store, or whatever. I'm hoping against all hope that this will help her and motivate her to be more responsible!

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