Six Ways to Teach your Child Responsibility


father-241423_640Although I intend this article for children, I have to admit that many adults may still learn from my message. Teaching responsibility is not just for kids. It’s pressing to pass on this important trait while young—when the mind can still be molded and when the heart is still thirsty for change.

What are the six ways to teach responsibility to your children?

Create positive relationship

When you develop a good, nurturing relationship with your children, it’s easier to share ideas and to offer guidance. Before you begin any “serious” teaching, spend time with your kids. Have fun together, show humor, visit places, discuss ideas, and share laughter.

Talk about their frustrations, their friends, their dreams. Discuss what excites them, what pushes their buttons, what keeps them motivated. As your relationship grows, gradually expect responsibility.

teachresponsibility_02Give assigned tasks

Teaching responsibility should be routine. Giving your kids assigned daily and weekly tasks at home may achieve what you’re aiming for. Chores such as washing dishes and making the bed and personal projects such as making crafts should be encouraged.

To prevent exhaustion, make sure that such tasks and projects are suitable for their ages and skills. Don’t feel guilty if you need to remind them. Almost all kids need some gentle push. But never nag. Instead, recognize and praise their accomplishments.

Provide opportunities to learn

Issues and stresses happen daily and each of them presents countless opportunities to learn accountability and conscientiousness. As parents, our usual tendency is to shield our children from these realities. But doing so may not necessarily be in their favor.

Let your children learn from their decisions and actions although the consequences may cause pain and discomfort. Allow them to see, to accept, and to correct their own mistakes. Of course, you may provide support and help during the whole process.

Ask questions 

teachresponsibility_03Some kids learn responsibility better when they are given mental tasks—problems to solve, decisions to make, options to choose. They thrive more when they have to use their brains. Instead of spoon-feeding, ask questions instead. Let them find the answers or solutions. Let them think and be creative.

For many people including children, questions are eye-openers. They are the windows through which they see the light and the filters through which they separate the good from the bad ideas. Let them develop positive attitude and behavior through questions that widen their curiosity and understanding.
Don’t give in

Learning responsibility needs time and effort, and some kids don’t want to exert the necessary hard work. They like to give you reasons they can’t do certain tasks. Don’t give in to tantrums, excuses, and unnecessary demands.

Some kids will test your patience and your resolve until you decide to surrender. Sure, it’s tough. But stand firm and just do what you think is right.


teachresponsibility_04Model responsibility

It may be a tall order but if you want your children to learn responsibility, you have to display responsibility yourself. Your kids are constantly listening and watching. They know what’s going on and it’s not easy to hide. You can’t afford to be inconsistent if you want to teach reliability. You can’t teach your children responsible behavior when you grab the knife each time you get drunk.

Modeling responsibility may be the easiest way to teach but needs your commitment and consistency. If you haven’t done so, you can begin it now . . . while you still have time.

As parents, teaching children responsibility should be our lasting legacy.

Author : Michael G. Rayel
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