How to Teach Your Kids Responsibility
Being a parent means knowing that one day your kid will grow up and have to be a responsible adult. While no one truly knows what that looks like, it is your responsibility to set them up for success in this area.
That is definitely easier said than done. You struggle to get them to clean their room, let alone study for a test. You can help your kids learn and even value responsibility by following a few simple steps.
How To Raise Responsible Kids
These steps are not foolproof. There will be some challenges along the way for both you and your kids. Taking the time to implement these easy steps can help set your kids up to be responsible adults.
Age-Appropriate Tasks: When giving your kids chores, a sure-fire way to reduce their self-esteem and make them feel worthless is to provide them with jobs that they cannot handle. If your primary focus is on giving them appropriate tasks for their age, they will do a better job taking on personal responsibility.
Reward Wisely: Overusing rewards sounds excellent because it will get them to do what you want them to do today. The problem is, this will cause your children to have an unreasonable expectation of future compensation. On the flip side of that, under-rewarding your children will not incentivize positive behavior. Moderation is key.
Don’t Complete Their Chores: Another way how to teach responsibility is to not complete the tasks that you have assigned to them. If it is their job to wash the dishes for dinner, let them sit until morning. Then, when it is time for breakfast, they will learn that you can’t make them bacon using dirty dishes. This also works with laundry. They will become embarrassed if their clothes are not clean for school. Letting them feel the consequences of their actions builds personal responsibility. The goal is that they will take care of their chores before consequences occur.
Let Them Make Their Lunches and Snacks: By putting their snacks and materials to make their lunch eye level, you are giving them the tools to take care of themselves. For instance, if they wake up earlier than you on the weekends, putting their milk in a smaller container will allow them to safely pour milk for the cereal they poured themselves. You are forcing the autonomy that they want anyway.
- Model Responsible Behavior: The most crucial step is to model responsible behavior. You are the responsibility example. Do the dishes. Clean the car. Pay your bills. Do your laundry when it needs to be done. Actually, being the responsible person you are asking them to be will go much further than simply telling them to be responsible. Live personal responsibility.
Taking the time to implement these steps into your daily life will help instill a positive, responsible future for your children. This is not to make your life better but to send them off into the real world with a greater understanding of what is required of them.
Teaching your kids responsibility is hard, but the reward is priceless.