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. There are many meanings of being responsible such as keeping one’s word, meeting one’s commitments, being dependable, 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 responsibility with obedience. 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 need to give up their own timetable and how they want things to be done exactly as they want, and allow their child to move from obedience to responsibility at their own pace. Allowing a child to freely do on his own way with certain degree of limitation will encourage a feeling 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 do not want their children to suffer or fail, so they do so much for their children, and when this happens, they don’t learn to take responsibility by themselves. On the other hand, there are also times when our children need our guidance and support for them to learn how to be responsible. It is very important to know how to find balance between under-parenting and over-managing by knowing and deciding when is the most appropriate time to step in, and when is the best time to effectively let your child go to develop his sense of maturity and responsible behaviors. Joining extracurricular activities, keeping a pet such as a butterfly koi or puppy and giving your children household chores or tasks are just some of the things you can ask your children to do in order to develop their sense of responsibility. As parents, we are responsible for the welfare of our children, and we want them to be responsible citizens, but their primary role model is us, so we need to show them that we are also responsible enough to handle our parenting responsibilities.