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Doing everything for your kids will not do them any favors. While you may be tempted to constantly pick up after them and do the things required to take care of their precious belongings, as long as you do, they are going to be dependent on you.

Instead of making them dependent on you-it is far more beneficial to them for you to help show them how to take care of themselves. A major part of that is teaching them to be responsible for their belongings. This may seem like a difficult task, but I assure you, there are some steps that can be taken that will make this much easier than it may seem. Here are 7 tips that will help instill responsibility in your kids.

1. Practice minimalism.

It might sound like a strange tip, but hear me out. When you have a bunch of clutter-there is no way you can take care of everything that you have. If you do- it’s a massive struggle and ultimately, it will only make it that much harder to teach your kids responsible habits.

2. Maintain guidelines.

Keep guidelines open to your child when you are purchasing. For example, if you are going to the store, tell them how much they can spend. Additionally, you could have their own money set aside for spending and use that as a guideline.

3. Teach them how to take care of their belongings.

Each time they get a new item, show them how to care for it. For example, if they have a Nintendo Switch, make sure they know to keep it in it’s case. When they finish using it, to put it up. And to clean it when it gets dirty. Also, make sure they understand how to keep it charged. If you show them the care needed for each item and continue to remind them, they will catch on.

4. Have a place for everything.

Make sure that everything in your home has its own place. That way, when it comes time to get something out or put it away, there are no questions necessary.

5. Plan cleaning days.

Keep an organizing and cleaning routine. On those days, get your kids on board and have them help you put things away and show them how to organize their things. A good way to do this is to set out boxes – one to toss, one to keep and one to donate. Place items that are cluttered in those bins. Organize what is left to keep and get rid of the rest.

6. Lead by example.

You cannot expect your child to be responsible if you do not model those habits. Make sure that you are doing exactly what it is you expect of your child (really more so, because you are the leader.) Otherwise, despite you commanding them to be responsible, they will follow your lead.

7. Don’t expect them to be perfect.

No one is perfect. Your kids are going to lose their things, break their things, and let things get messed up. That is okay. Just use those times as a lesson.