How to Teach Children Responsibility: 6 Tips to Help You Start Now
It’s hard to teach a baby responsibility. But as your child grows, you have a window of opportunity to teach them well. While responsibility does involve chores, it’s much more than that. It’s an attitude of taking action and having pride in what you do.
That being said, you may be wondering just how you teach your children responsibility. These 6 tips will give you a head start!
Start when they’re toddlers
The ideal age to teach children responsibility is prior to preschool, or during those toddler years. While their responsibilities won’t be big to begin with, these skills will become ingrained. Having them attend to something simple like watering the plants or setting the table is a great way to hand responsibility over to little ones.
Invite your child to help
At the toddler stage, kids really love to help out. Resist the urge to cringe when they do a mediocre job sweeping the floors. What you’re trying to teach here is a willingness to be helpful and participate in the needs of the family. This helps your child feel valued and proud.
Show them how to do for themselves
Does your child always ask for a snack? Show them how to get one themselves. Demonstrate what you do first. Then the next time, ask them to show you how they get a snack. Now you’ve taught them a valuable life skill on how to take action to meet their needs.
Be a responsible example
Your kids will copy what you do, so show them the right way. If you want them to take their dishes to the sink when dinner is finished, make sure you’re doing it too. In other words, be a role model that they will emulate.
Offer praise for completing responsibilities
When your kids do things without being asked, you should praise them. But don’t leave it at a simple, “Good job!” Make sure you call out the specific action like, “Thank you for watering the plants. They look great!”
Don’t forget about the consequences
On the flip side, responsibility also must be held for actions. While you can’t make sure children clean up, you can give them a consequence for leaving a mess. Follow through with the consequence and your child will learn through enforced rules. The next time they’re in that situation, they will handle things differently. You might be worried about them getting upset, but it will be far worse in the long run if you keep solving your child’s problems for them rather than them learning how to be responsible for themselves.
It isn’t always easy to teach our kids responsibility, but one day you’ll notice your kids take the lead around the house and with their school work. As you see this happening, you will know you’ve given them the right tools to pave the way to a successful life ahead.