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Smart Parenting 2017: How to Teach Responsibility to Your Children

One of the most common responses among parents when are asked about the traits would like their children to have is to be responsible. Being responsible may mean different things such as being dependable, keeping one’s word, meeting one’s commitments, doing something to one’s ability, being accountable for one’s behavior, acknowledging mistakes, and being an asset to one’s family, community and society. Parents often associate obedience with responsibility. Most parents would like their children to do what they ask their children to do, to follow instructions and to not question their authority. But these are not the qualities of being responsible because these are behaviors of being obedient.

It it important for children to develop and exercise ownership for a particular task or chore, and they need to do it because it needs to be done, and eventually they accept that they are obliged to do it. Your children may even initiate performing a task over time with constant reminder and practice because it needs to be done and not because they are being told to do so, which is a good attitude of being responsible. Parents should know when to give up the things they like and their exact timetable, and allow their child to move from obedience to responsibility basing on their own pace. It is important to allow your children to do things you ask them to do in their own way so they feel encouraged, having a sense of pride and accomplishment, fostering a sense of responsibility. When considering the transition from obedience to responsibility, there are issues raised about how involved you should be when helping your child meet his commitments and complete tasks.

There are many parents who are afraid that their children suffer the consequences of life’s failure, trials, and challenges so they do so much for their children, and when this happens, they don’t learn to take responsibility by themselves. But there are also some instances when children need the guidance and support of their parents so they can learn the sense of responsibility. It is essential to find the balance between under-parenting and over-managing by deciding the most critical and appropriate time to step in, and the time when it is best to let your child go so he can develop maturity and responsible behaviors. Joining extracurriculars, keeping a pet such as a butterfly koi, and giving them tasks are just some activities your children can do to develop their sense of responsibility. Being a parent is a lifelong responsibility, and we want to teach our children to be responsible for what they do, and their best role model is us.

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