4 Tips For Teaching Your Child About Responsibility
Parenting is hard work, especially if you want to raise children who are responsible. While it may be easier to put on their favorite television show and let them stare at it for hours, they will not learn to be responsible. When parents fail to teach their children or set an example of responsibility, then those children often fail to be competent, skillful, responsible adults. Here are four skills to focus on in order to help your children:
Young children can be taught that it is important to help others by helping family members around the home. Then, as the child matures, they can become involved in community service projects. Taking cookies to an elderly person in your neighborhood is always a fun way to teach responsibility for others. Familius advises, “As you visit the newcomer down the street and the children make new friends, when they watch the elderly neighbor’s eyes light up at the plate of cookies, or see the smile on the woman’s face as you donate used items, talk to your children about what happened.” Talking to your child about the service afterward is important. As the child matures, you may want to get them involved in community activities where they can participate in a group doing community service projects. Get involved with projects where you can serve the community as a family because children will learn that you value being responsible for others.
Treat Animals with Respect
Many children love animals, but some need extra guidance in learning how to appreciate and interact with them. If you have pets, your children can participate in training and in caring for the pets which will require them to be disciplined and responsible. Even if you do not own pets, you should take opportunities to teach your children about animals. Set the example of how we should treat animals humanely. This should include respect for and safety around animals, even domesticated animals like cats and dogs. This will help prevent situations where your child could be bitten or scratched by an animal, which may cause “nightmares, loss of sleep, fear of dogs, and general anxiety, withdrawal from their surroundings, and apprehension” according to Craig Swapp.
Having the habit of cleanliness takes discipline and responsibility to develop. Children should start doing chores at an early age. They can empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor or wash the table after a meal. A reward chart is a great way to encourage most children to want to complete their chores. Set a number of times that the child must complete the chore before they get a reward. As the child gets older, then increase the number and type of chores based on their abilities. Don’t just stop at cleaning the house, either. Focus on personal cleanliness and hygiene. Establish hygiene habits like bathing and toothbrushing and flossing and handwashing from a very young age.
Since children who are organized are also more responsible, insist that your child get themselves organized every night before bed. Let them help you pick out clothes for the next day, and put them in a special place. Once the child starts school, insist that they pack their backpack the night before. Do not bring them things that they forgot. As part of teaching organizational skills, have them organize their toys and belongings. From a very young age, children can learn to pick up their toys and put them where they belong. While you may be able to do it faster, making them do it for themselves is teaching them to be responsible. Get a tub or another container that they can put all their toys in easily. Then, insist that they do so before they can move on to another activity.
These are just four of the many ways to teach children responsibility. We could have focused on a dozen more. What matters most is that you spend time with your children and set a good example of responsibility. The lessons your children learn from your example will last throughout their lives.
Familius | How to teach children about service
Craig Swapp and Associates | Dog Bites
A Fine Parent | Are You Teaching Kids Responsibility?