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Attitude Makeover: Irresponsible

What's Wrong With Your Current Response?
How do you typically respond to your child's irresponsible actions? For instance, what was the last occasion your kid was irresponsible? Mentally photograph the irresponsible action. Now focus the image on you. What was your response? For instance, did you let him get away with it, or did you hold him accountable? Did you make an excuse for him, or make him apologize? Did you step in and do his assignment or job for him? Do any of these other parental responses to irresponsible attitudes fit you:

Rescuer. You come to your kid's aid, and solve his quandaries for him.

Doer. You find yourself doing or finishing most of your kid's responsibilities.

Excuser. You make excuses for your kid's lack of follow-through or bad attitude.

Overexpecter. You put too high or unrealistic expectations on your kid.

Low expectations. You minimize the number of expectations you place on your kid.

Enabler. You try to make things as easy as possible for your kid.

Reminder. You always remind your kid of his assignments, jobs, and schedule.


What is the one thing you have tried time after time that you should never do again?

I will not

Facing Your Own Bad Attitudes
Think about when you were growing up. Were you responsible for doing chores in your home? If so, which ones? Are you responsible now?

Studies have shown that kids a few decades ago were responsible for doing much more around the house than kids today. What has changed in our lifestyles that is causing the decline in kids' responsibilities? How is that affecting our kids' attitudes?

Your kid wasn't born with this attitude, so how did he develop this irresponsible attitude? Seriously consider whether he could be learning it from others – even you! Check ones that apply to you:

Do you emphasize the importance of responsibility in your home?

Do you blame others for problems and not take ownership for your own actions?

Are you always late when picking up your child from school?

Do you attend parent-teacher conferences and respond in a timely manner to notices that are brought home from school?

Do you make excuses for your problems?

Are bills, DVDs, and library books piling up on your table with overdue notices?

When you make a mistake, do you admit it? And does your child hear you?

Would others say they can count on you to do what you say?

Do you take care of your possessions or see property as easily replaceable?

What is the first step you need to take in yourself to help your child deal with his or her irresponsible attitude? Write down changes you need to make.

I will

Next: Take action >>

From Don't Give Me That Attitude by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2004 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

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