Homeschooling Parents: Teaching Responsibility

Aside from building a strong relationship with the child as I wrote about previously – when homeschooling, mom can teach her children to take responsibility for their own problems. This is so important for all parents to teach, whether they are homeschooling or not. The ability to take responsibility for your own actions without blaming others, trying to escape a consequence, or have an attitude of entitlement is a key life skill. So let’s paint a picture of a typical home school teaching situation:

Mom: “It is time for math, please get out your math book”

Child: “I don’t want to do math, I want to play outside, whine, whine, whine…”

Mom: She uses the enforceable statement, “I am happy to allow you to play outside when your math work is finished.”

If a power struggle occurs, mom can use an Energy Drain as consequence.

THEN, when things are calm and the consequence occurs, mom sits with the child and talks about the PROBLEM of not doing what is assigned when it is assigned.

She will share how sad it was that he did not get to go to soccer because her energy was drained arguing about doing math.

She will then take the next step to ask her wonderful child, “What do you think you could have done differently when I told you it was time for math?”

Next, brainstorm ideas about how the child could have handled it better, the whys about his struggle with math.

Lastly, allow the child to try his ideas the next time. Be sure to praise the child when they try their new idea.

The key to this tool is to not get into big power struggle with the child. Instead, consequence the negative behavior, and then empower the child to use better skills next time. Read this handout from Love and Logic® on the steps to hand problems back to children.

A parent being the teacher can be very difficult considering that not many students will say no to a teacher and whine. But the one-on-one time and individual teaching a child gains from being home schooled can be so wonderful, especially when a parent uses great tools to increase relationship and responsibility.