Frankie Bordeaux is a husband and father of five who served with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for over two and a half decades before retirement. In this brief interview with Presentation Solutions, Frankie Bordeaux answers questions about teaching children goals, responsibility, and work ethic.
Presentation Solutions: In what ways can we teach young children responsibility?
Frankie Bordeaux: Starting at preschool, you can teach young children responsible behavior. One way is to offer them a “chore chart” with pictures of what they should do for themselves. You can “reward” them by using colorful stickers to check off their responsible behavior.
Presentation Solutions: What kinds of things should a 4 or 5 year old be able to do for him or herself?
Frankie Bordeaux: Get dressed, brush their teeth, put laundry in the hamper, pick up their toys, etc.
Presentation Solutions: And what about teaching a work ethic at this age?
Frankie Bordeaux: Young children can and should be expected to perform certain duties.
Presentation Solutions: Many children look at work as the thing that takes their parents away. How do you advise combating this negative association?
Frankie Bordeaux: Unfortunately, in today’s two-income households, many children do not get the one- on- one adult time they desire. If being a stay-at- home parent is not an option, make sure that the time you give to your child is good quality time. Often, it’s the quality of time sent with children that matters most and not the amount of time.
Presentation Solutions: The Boys and Girls Club really fills a need here, correct?
Frankie Bordeaux: Absolutely, the Club is a safe and nurturing environment where parents can leave children when they do have to be away for work.
Presentation Solutions: What would you advise parents of teens who are trying to get their children to set their own goals for the future?
Frankie Bordeaux: I say to start small and then work on larger goals. Parents should explain to teens how accomplishing small goals can better enable them to accomplish larger goals.
Presentation Solutions: How do you prepare a teen for independent living, such as going off to college?
Frankie Bordeaux: I encourage part time employment, if feasible. There are countless options for gaining work experience – for example, as a lifeguard at the YMCA or as a bagger at the local grocer.
Presentation Solutions: How would you teach a teen to set goals for his or her adult life?
Frankie Bordeaux: There is no better teacher than experience. Again, part time employment while still in school can be a great way to teach them balance. Also, if they want a big ticket item, like a game system or vehicle, have them save for at least half of it.
Presentation Solutions: What about children who seem to have no interest in working or caring for themselves?
Frankie Bordeaux: Kids of all ages should be encouraged by example. Parents should expect children to work and care for themselves
Presentation Solutions: Meaning…?
Frankie Bordeaux: Make sure your child sees you doing the things you ask them to do…making your own bed, for example.
Presentation Solutions: Any other advice before we have to close?
Frankie Bordeaux: One thing I believe is important above all is teaching children how to be responsible. You teach them how to be responsible by demonstrating responsible behavior yourself. We must also teach our children that there are consequences for your actions.
Presentation Solutions: Thank you for your time today, we look forward to hearing from you again.
Frankie Bordeaux: My pleasure.