Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Taking Responsiblity

Objective
To encourage children to assume responsibility for their personal care.

Background
Children who have reached the age of five can accept responsibility for much of their own care, including bathing themselves, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, eating, exercising, and resting. In addition, they are learning to dress for weather conditions, to get ready for school on time, and to do age-appropriate chores in the home. In order to develop a sense of self-worth and an ability to make decisions on their own, children must be permitted to be responsible for themselves. Adults should offer guidance and supervision and be there to help, but they should not take over and complete a task for the child even when it appears more expedient. Children feel good about themselves when they can assume responsibility for themselves.

Activities
In a comfortable classroom atmosphere, have students suggest two types of tasks or activities: those that they can do for themselves and those that others (parents, teachers, caregivers) need to do for them. List these in two columns on the chalkboard. Discuss the importance of doing for themselves specific tasks on the list.

Give each student a copy of the Personal Care-Taking Chart. Tell students to take home the chart and to keep track of their self-care activities for two weeks. At the end of each week, discuss with students how their personal responsibility efforts are going and invite them to add new tasks to their own lists (note: there is a space after each week for parents to indicate whether their child completed the tasks).

Resources
Personal Care-Taking Chart.

Teacher Tips
• This activity provides a good opportunity for you to communicate with students' parents. It also asks for parental involvement in helping direct their children's efforts to accept more responsibility for themselves. Make sure you encourage the positive involvement of parents.

• Follow up this lesson by asking studerrts about their progress and by having them bring in their completed, signed task charts.

• You may want to provide more of these charts, or charts with more or different tasks listed, in successive weeks.

• To help children in deciding how to dress for weather conditions, you may want to provide a local telephone number students can use to get an updated, daily weather report. (Make sure there is no charge for this service in your calling area.)

Source
Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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