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7 Tips for Teaching Your Children Responsibility

by Editorial Team | August 23rd, 2018 | Elementary

Just like walking and talking, responsibility is a trait that kids learn gradually over time. As a parent, your job is to ensure your kids view responsibility as something joyful rather than a burden. Here are some of the ways to teach your child responsibility:

Start Young

Starting young is the key to instilling responsible behaviour. For example, when your toddler begs to fold laundry or help you wash a car, it’s easier to dismiss them and finish the work faster. But, this is the time to instill natural helpfulness in your child. Teaching responsibility at a young age also promotes positive development in other aspects of the child’s life like developing their IQ. Keep in mind that waiting until your child is older to instill responsibility can backfire.

Let Them Help You

Including your kids in whatever you do can be a great way to teach responsibility. Chances are they will make a bigger mess. Nevertheless, it makes them feel important and grown-up, which encourages a feeling of responsibility. You can also assign age-appropriate pet chores like cleaning fish aquarium, and ensure they get done. Fish may not be the ideal pet, but caring for them can be challenging. Fish can help teach your child how to successfully care for their fish, which instills responsibility of pet ownership.

Model Responsibility

One of the best but hardest ways to teach responsibility to your child is to be a good role model. Grown-ups have several responsibilities that they can use to demonstrate responsibility on a daily basis. Parents/guardians should make sure they can always be counted on to do your work, keep their promises, and never make excuses. For starters, tidy up, pick up after yourself, and always be on time.

Manage Your Expectations

Kids are bound to make a mess, so don’t expect perfection. As opposed to expressing your anger and disappointment if your child makes a mistake, try correcting them calmly. But also, don’t be quick to fix their mistakes or get them out of a difficult situation. If your child makes mistakes continuously, never label them as “Irresponsible,” rather teach them the skills they need to be responsible.

Praise Them

When your child acts responsibly, recognize their efforts. You can praise their efforts by telling them exactly what you liked about their actions. You can also make age-appropriate rewards like choosing a movie for home watching, a weekly star rating system, or movie time over the weekend, to encourage responsible behaviour.

Provide Structure and Routine

Providing structure and routine is crucial in children’s lives as it offers repeated opportunities for kids to manage themselves. This makes responsibility a continuous trait to learn during different stages of your child’s life.

Teach Consequences

No one wants to get in trouble, especially kids. Even so, you can teach them how to own up to their mistakes. First, help them understand the effects of their actions, including natural consequences, then teach accountability and most importantly, own up to your own behaviour. For example, if they damage someone’s property, don’t be in a hurry to bail them out, instead support them to pay for the damaged goods.

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