7 Steps that will help you teach responsibility to your kids
Did you know that responsibility is one of the most important character traits needed for success in life?
One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is to teach them responsibility. It’s not easy, and it takes time, but it will pay off in the future.
The earlier you start the better but don’t worry if your kids are older, they can still learn!
Why is teaching responsibility important?
Teaching responsibility to your kids, it’s important because it helps build their character, it teaches them important life skills and makes them dependable. All these are important keys for them to succeed and have a bright future.
Have you ever met an irresponsible person or someone that does not take responsibility for their own actions?
That is not the person you want your kid to become.
So, in this post you will find 7 easy steps that will help you teach responsibility to your kid.
How to teach responsibility to your kids
It is very important that you take into consideration the age of your kids. A 2-year-old and a seven-year-old can both learn responsibility, but their level of understanding and what they can do is different.
So, make sure you bring the lessons to their level and have patience. Remember, Rome was not built in one day!
1. Be an example
Whether you like it or not, your kid watches everything you do. You are their superhero, and eventually they are going to want to be just like you.
They learn from watching you: how you talk, how you handle yourself, how you make decisions, etc. You are their teacher.
What are you teaching your kids about responsibility through your example?
Are you responsible, diligent and a hard worker at your job?
Do you take responsibility for your own actions?
Do you know how to control yourself and do you learn from your mistakes?
Be the person you want your children to be. That doesn’t mean that you will not make mistakes because you will, but owning those mistakes and learning from them is part of being a responsible person.
2. Talk to them about responsibility
We all have jobs to do, and it’s important that kids know that. Doing a good job and having a good attitude about it is all part of being responsible.
Give them examples about your responsibilities (work, clean, laundry, etc), and ask them about other people’s responsibilities like dad, grandpa, brother, etc.
When kids are little, it’s hard to talk about responsibility, but you can talk to them while doing chores. Talk to them about what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Give them examples and show them in a way they can understand. For example:
Cleaning the livingroom table:
- Show them what materials they need for cleaning.
- Show them how to clean it.
- Have them clean it with you.
- Talk to them about why is it important to have a clean table.
- Explain to them the good and the bad consequences of having a clean and a dirty table.
- Talk to them about the importance of doing a good job.
Remember, this is a process and a learning experience for your kids. You will have to repeat these lessons over and over again because you are trying to form their character.
3. Talk to them about consequences
A very important lesson that our kids need to learn is that everything we do has consequences. If we do something good then we will have good consequences and if we do bad things then we will have bad consequences.
For example, when they play around in school and don’t finish their work, they may have to stay in class during recess to finish it. That teaches them responsibility.
Sometimes as parents we need to take a step back and let our kids suffer the consequences of their actions because that is how they learn. I know it’s hard, but it’s for their own good.
Thinking about the consequences of their actions is something that can help your kids make the right choices. It is a lesson that will stay with them for the rest of their life.
So, next time your child forgets his homework at home, let him/her deal with the consequences. They are learning a very valuable lesson.
4. Assign responsibilities according to their age
Remember, teaching responsibility is something that we start when our kids are little. We just have to adapt to their ages and what they can do.
Even a 1-year-old baby can help pick up toys and clean their high chair tray. They may not do a great job yet, but even in something so small, you are teaching them to be responsible.
An older child can make his bed, vacuum their room, clean the table, and much more. You just have to give them responsibilities that are age-appropriate.
I use a printable to assign chores to my kids that way they know what they are responsible for. I created a free printable for you to use. You can laminate it and use it to assign chores to your kids! You can find it at the bottom of the page!
Also, if you need help with assigning chores by age, you can check out this chore chart.
5. Do a job well done
I have worked with adults (yes, adults!) that don’t care if they do a good job or not, as long as they get paid, they do the bare minimum.
I have worked with teachers that would not pick up trash outside their classroom because that is not their job.
That is not the kind of people we want our kids to become because that is not the person that God wants us to be.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men… You are serving the Lord Christ”Col. 3:23-24
Teach your kids to do their very best every time they do something, even when they do chores.
Remember, be an example by always doing your best too!
Kids love to hear that they are doing are great job. They love to hear how proud you are of them and how much you appreciate their help.
Encourage your kids to do a great job by praising their work.
- I love how you picked up all the toys.
- wow, the table looks super clean.
- great job finishing all your chores.
- I’m so proud of how hard you work on your homework.
- thanks for vacuuming the living room, it looks very good.
Everybody loves to feel appreciated for the work that they do. Kids do too! Plus, it builds up their self-esteem.
7. Rewards for a job well done!
I don’t think kids need to be rewarded every single time they help around the house; it is their responsibility as part of the family.
But who doesn’t love rewards?
After all, a reward is just a good consequence for doing something good.
At the end of the school year, I like to reward my boys with a present. School is their responsibility, but I love how hard they work to make good grades every single year. So, my husband and I get them a little present.
Rewards do not have to be something big, here are some ideas:
- Ice cream
- 1 hour of video games
- a zoo trip
- a favorite snack
- small toys
Last words on teaching responsibility
Parenting is difficult, but if God gave you the opportunity to be a mom it is because He knows that you can do a superb job!
Be consistent when teaching responsibility. Take advantage of every opportunity to teach something new and start as early as you can.
Remember, it takes time and patience, but it’s so worth it. It will set your kids apart from the rest and it will set them up for success.
Don’t forget to get your free printable!!