There are a few ways to make sure your children will grow-up to be self-sufficient, responsible, and productive adults. There’s never a guarantee, but if you take heed of the following 4 things, you’ll have a better chance of success:
1) Give even the youngest children chores; things like making their bed or helping to clear the table. Prominently display an awards chart and make sure they get recognized for doing good by filling the chart with stars or other stickers, noting their achievements.
2) Teach your children to save 10%, give away 10%, and live on 80%. Start as soon as they know how to count, usually around 3-4 years old. When they get money for their birthday, or for any other reason, teach them about the 10/10/80 rule.
3) Guide and direct, “hands-on” to keep your children safe and motivated to do good. Encourage them to become independent and mature by letting go a little bit more each year as they grow towards their 18th birthday. Don’t do their school papers, their class projects, or anything else that’s their responsibility. Help, yes, but let them take the lead and fail if need be.
4) Prepare their meals and provide good nutrition. Let them participate by giving them only healthy choices for their school lunch. As they grow give them more and more responsibility so that by the time they are 18 they have become an adult with adult responsibilities and are self-reliant.
Practicing “tough love” will equip your children with more of what they need to someday live without your daily influence on their lives. It’s never easy to let-go and see them make mistakes. It’s beautiful to see them mature and take responsibility for the good, the bad, the ugly. That’s life!