My goal, as a parent, is to raise responsible children who can think for themselves and are prepared to be independent when they go out into the world on their own. Instilling a sense of responsibility in my children while they are still young is vital. It is my hope that these lessons will create an attitude that will carry over into their teenage and adult years.
Helping our children to learn the importance of taking personal responsibility is an essential part of parenting. Responsible children grow up to become successful adults.
By giving my children tasks that they alone are responsible for, I am empowering them with self confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Children as young as two or three can be expected to put away toys. An older child might get excited to help with dusting or sweeping. As they grow, older more challenging tasks can be added. Provide your child with a detailed list of what is expected from them before they can enjoy certain privileges and extracurricular activities.
Creating A Chore Chart
A chore chart is a great tool to utilize to teach basic household responsibilities. Chore charts teach responsibility and help encourage kids to set goals. By linking responsibilities to privileges, we can reward responsible behavior and provide consequences when our children do not follow through.
It is important to make learning responsibility fun. Children are motivated when they know they are working toward something and feel like they are doing a good job. Setting up a chore chart is a good reminder for us, as parents, to focus on the positive. Making children accountable for their chores is a great way for them to learn responsibility.
Rewards and Consequences
We need to set boundaries and hold our children accountable for their choices. It is not our job to rescue our children from every failure. I am slowly figuring out that my goal is not to make sure that my children complete every task perfectly and fully. Yes, I want them get to the bus every morning, be on time for school, get their homework turned in on time, and so on, but the responsibility needs to lie within them.
Children need to fail and experience consequences for making poor choices and decisions. Through these life experiences they will learn what it truly means to take responsibility for their actions. Not studying for a test will cause lower grades and driving over the speed limit may result in a ticket. In those cases we need to let our children rectify the situation on their own. Talk to them about how they can do better next time. If your child breaks a house rule, give them opportunities to earn back your trust.
Lead By Example
As a parent, I need to teach by example. If my children hear me saying one thing and then doing the opposite, they will be more likely to follow my example, rather than follow my command. If I have made a commitment and take my responsibility seriously, I teach my children that I am trustworthy and reliable. Children watch us very carefully and monitor our every move. Through our actions we can teach our children that being responsible is just a given.
Talking with our children about what it means to live up to their commitments and providing them with the opportunities to prove their dependability is the first step to raising responsible children.
This post was originally published at MomItForward.com on September 30, 2013. http://momitforward.com/raising-responsible-children