Teach your child Responsibility

Being responsible means knowing how to take care of yourself and others, managing wardrobe and doing homework without a reminder etc. Being responsible is important for a child’s success in school and in life. When your children know how to take responsibility for their actions and doings, they will get things done without making excuses. Your children will grow as trustworthy and dependable in other’s eyes. They will be ready to take any new responsibilities, which comes their way.

Teaching responsibility is not an overnight process; you can’t suddenly teach responsibility to a teenager and expect them to follow. However, the good thing is that you can start teaching them while they are young. They will learn faster if the method is cheerful. For example: if milk is spilled, don’t overreact, ask your child to help while you clean the mess. Involve them even if you think it’s easier and faster to do it yourself. If you are not judgemental about the way they clean, slowly and gradually they will learn to clean their own mess. Keep giving them the opportunity to contribute; it will also make them feel valued.

Do not just order them to do the chores or don’t let them do the chores without you, just involve them in your easy daily chores. At the initial stage, you will have to always be there to show them the way. If the child is hungry, show them where the fruits are kept, pick a fruit and show them how to wash it. Remember that your goal should not be getting the job done; it is instilling the sense of responsibility and pleasure of contributing in your child. Helping your child realize the joy of contributing is more important than getting the job done.

Create a routine structure for them; idea is to slowly master every routine one by one. It is very important for children for many reasons as it gives them repeated opportunity to manage their own work or helping the parents. Help them master the routine of making bed, cleaning up toys or getting ready for school and so on.  Teach your child to be responsible about what they say to others. Also, if they misbehave, do not force them to apologise, they will never mean it and don’t ever take their side. Learn about the reason behind their behaviour and make them understand the results of speaking bad. Then help them to amend their mistakes and repair the situations.

Model responsible behaviour, be the perfect person for your child. You cannot say to your 3 year old to be responsible; you will have to teach them by example.  Parents themselves have many responsibilities that can be used to demonstrate responsible behaviour. Do not break your promises, always apologise to your children if you are wrong and clean up your own mess are some of many practices you can follow. Do your work yourself and involve your child, if possible.

Raising a responsible child, who does its own job, is not a fantasy! However, it can take years and lots of practice to instill responsibility into your child’s life.