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Issue Date: January 24, 2010
Other ThinkSmart articles this week:
Food Smart Beat the "bad" cholesterol
Green Smart How to host an eco-friendly Super Bowl party
Parent Smart Parents: Help kids be more responsible
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ParentSmart

ALLYSON DICKMAN

Parents: Help kids be more responsible

Tired of pestering your kids to do homework or chores? "Resolve in your own mind that you're just not going to engage in the battle," says Jamie Woolf, author of the book and blog "Mom-in-Chief." One tactic: Set consequences ahead of time and follow through. Four more strategies:

Make kids take charge. Woolf wakes her kids each morning, but getting ready for school is up to them. If they're late, they don't get a note from Mom excusing them.

Teach respect. Before you make a phone call, tell your kids how long you'll be on the phone and come up with a hand signal to let them know when their volume or pestering is interrupting you. "This is teaching respect and courtesy," Woolf says.

Set boundaries. Explain the purpose of trips to the store: "Say, 'This is not a time when I'm going to buy anything we don't need, so don't talk to me about buying things.' "

Get a system. Don't constantly remind your kids to practice an instrument or get ready for ballet class. "Make practice charts that they can decorate with markers and stickers to record their progress," Woolf says.


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