Do you ever see those parents whose children seem to be independent and responsible all on their own? Some get lucky, but most don’t. It has to be taught to your child. The way you parent will determine that success.
When thinking of responsibility, it often seems to come down to how you want your child to turn out in the end. You will either have a responsible child or you won't. When we teach our children how to be responsible, it is a life-long skill that we have to work on. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
Children learn through routines
Now you may be wondering how to teach your child responsibility. It has been taught that having routines teaches your child responsibility. If he gets up in the morning, makes his bed and brushes his teeth, that teaches him it is his responsibility or job to make sure it gets done.
Children learn through choices
Something else that is very important is to make sure we give our children choices. Through choices, children can learn they have this option or another option. By giving them those choices, you are also teaching responsibility.
Children learn through responsibilities
Sometimes, it is tempting to do the task on one's own rather than have children do it. For example, if the child finishes dinner and doesn’t take care of her plate, it is often easier to just take care of it since you’re already clearing the table. If we do this too often, children will think it is expected and that it is not their responsibility to clean up their area after dinner. But when you share the task with your child, you are able to ensure the ability of developing responsibility, gaining a stronger relationship and being able to teach them how to properly do something so, in the future, they can do it on their own.
Children learn by example
In order to teach our children how to be responsible, we must be a role model, ourselves. We cannot expect things from our children if we don’t do it ourselves. Once we are that role model, we can begin expecting greater responsibility from our children. Moreover, when they have a chore or task that they are asked to do, we must not go back and fix what they did wrong. They will see that and get discouraged. Instead, we must express appreciation for the things we noticed they did well and encourage them. By doing that, it will make your child want to improve.
When children learn how to be responsible they gain a greater self-esteem, which makes other successes and confidence grow, all because you taught them responsibility.
Responsibility can be taught at any age. It is not an easy task, but the benefits that come from the responsibilities given to your children will be everlasting.
Jessica is the mother of one wonderful 2-year-old with one on the way. She is obtaining a bachelor's degree in child development and has already received her associates degree. She has been married for four years this upcoming May and enjoys crafting, organizing, doing any activity outdoors, and of course spending time with her wonderful family.