Child Development – Teaching your Child Responsibility

As parents we try to raise our children to become responsible and competent adults.  However, how do we guarantee that outcome?

Most of the time we begin with giving our children little jobs or chores around the house, and reward them with an allowance.  But really, responsibility is more than just chores alone. It is more about making contributions to the family unit, and the immediate impact this can have on your child is it will boost their self-esteem and independence.  Of course this does not happen overnight. It will take work on the part of you and your child.

Below are steps that you can take to help instill responsibility in your child:

  1. Begin by presenting your child with choices, like what to wear to school or have for lunch.  Basically, if your child feels that they can participate in things that pertain to them, they will be more apt to seek responsibility and take responsibility for themselves.
  2. Encourage your child to do for themselves.  Example: if your child asks for a drink of water or a snack show them how to get the water on their own.
  3. Make sure the responsibilities that you give your child are geared toward their specific skill levels, and make sure that you always show your child what you expect by demonstrating each task or clearly explaining their list of responsibilities.  Don’t take for granted that your child already knows. If you perform the chore along with your child, it will make it fun for your child and easier for them to understand.
  4. If you child approaches you while you are doing a task, allow them to help you.  Even if it takes you longer to complete the task. It will show them that their efforts are valued.
  5. Another good idea is to encourage your child help select their chore or task, as they may be more willing to do their best.
  6. You can even assign tasks to your younger children, so that they can become responsible for their stuff…such as encouraging them to put their toys away.
  7. If you have pets your child can begin to take responsibility for cleaning the cages or feeding and grooming them, which will encourage and teach them to care and look after others.
  8. As mentioned earlier, you can also provide your child with an allowance, and teach them to make good spending decisions. They will develop a can do attitude this way.
  9. You can also post a responsibility poster board containing your child’s daily responsibilities.  This way you can track thier progress and they can keep track of what their responsibilities are!
  10. Finally you can allow your child to become part of family projects. Just as you do during domestic activities such as cooking – you can include them in projects such as working outside. If you are planting a garden, your child can be given the responsibility of planting the seeds.

If you show your child that you have confidence in them and believe in them, even when they make mistakes, they will become empowered by your confidence and encouragement. You may be surprised at your child’s accomplishments!

Just food for thought ~ as usual I would love to know your thoughts.

~ D. Linn Whorley

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