Parents always aim to do what’s best for their child, while ensuring they grow up into happy and healthy adults. One way we can nurture our children is by helping to teach them how to be responsible. That means taking responsibility for their actions. They also need to be responsible for their belongings and welfare. It’s important to teach them this virtue in a confident and positive manner, while not being too overbearing and strict. Want to know how to help your child learn this important value? Here are the five ways I recommend to teach your child responsibility.
Lead by example
Simply telling your child that they need to be more responsible isn’t going to cut it. Think about the popular saying, “monkey see, monkey do.” So right from the word go, you need to be setting a good example. If your child sees you taking care of all the household tasks in an efficient and timely manner, then they are much more likely to follow your lead. And it sets such a better example than giving them tasks to do while you sit on the sofa all day!
Give them chores to do
The younger your children are, the easier it will be to start them off on chores. Pre-school kids will usually be very enthusiastic about helping their mom. Kids verging on their teenage years may not be so happy to help. So it’s very important to start them off young! Keep it easy for younger kids by getting them to help you with your tasks. As they get older, you can give them a bit more responsibility by allocating them tasks to carry out on their own. By carrying out chores, they are learning what it means to run a successful household. It also teaches them how to look after a home. Be sure to build up chores gradually, so your kids don’t feel overwhelmed by everything. This could lead to negative results.
Give your kids a weekly or monthly amount of pocket money. This is an excellent way to teach them the value of money and how to look after it. Tell them that they can spend the money on anything they like, and it is instead of you buying them little treats all the time. Now that they are in charge of their money, they will begin to learn the beginnings of basic finance. Encourage them to make independent financial decisions without relying on you. Overtime, they’ll learn the importance of saving up cash to buy what they want. And you never know, they may even save their money for gifts for mom!
Let them understand consequences
As long as they aren’t too dangerous or detrimental, let your children feel the consequences of their actions. For example, if your child is responsible for packing homework into their school bag, don’t help them out if they forget. If your child does leave their work at home, it doesn’t help if you run back home to get it. They need to witness firsthand how their mistake affects things and also take the blame. Even if this ends in them having to do detention once, they will certainly never forget their books and homework ever again! Once they understand actions can have both positive and negative consequences, they will start to think about what they are doing. Eventually, the will learn to rationalize everything and try to aim for the best possible outcomes.
Talk it through with plenty of praise
Another great idea is to sit your child down and have a chat with them about responsibility. Ask them what they think it means and how they can practice it. You may even get some ideas from them! You need to tell them about the different tasks you will give them, such as the chores. Let them know why they have to carry them out and the importance of each task. Don’t forget to praise your child when they do really well! Tell them how well they carry out every chore or let them know how pleased you are when they independently decide to save up their pocket money. You need also to talk through any of their bad decisions and discuss how they could improve next time. If this all sounds a bit too dry, try turning it into a game. Create flashcards with different scenarios written on and ask your child to guess what the responsible action in each would be.
Before you know it, your children will grow up into responsible adults before your very eyes!
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.