Teaching children responsibilities can be tough. However, with these Strategies and Tools to Help Your Child Learn Responsibility you may have some guidelines to help you achieve it.
Teaching kids how to be more responsible is a big task. That’s why you need to start smaller and work your way up to the bigger lessons. Learning to be more responsible and accountable at home is a lesson that will benefit your child immensely in so many other areas of her life.
Using a Starter Phone
Kids are starting to ask for cell phones at younger and younger ages. You might not be ready for your preteen to have a smartphone just yet, but you might want to consider getting a starter phone. A device such as a Jitterbug smartphone doesn’t have a lot of distractions, but it gives your child an easy way to stay in touch with you. Using a starter phone teaches your child about the importance of communicating with you, especially if plans change.
Managing Age-appropriate Chores
Nobody enjoys doing chores, but maintaining a household involves handling certain tasks, even when you’re one of the younger members of the family. It’s difficult as a parent to know what chores are right for kids to do, however. One solution is to match chores up according to whether they’re appropriate for your child’s age. Once you have a baseline, you can add or reduce chores in accordance with your child’s maturity level. Remember that there need to be consequences for not doing chores.
Staying at Home Alone
One big rite of passage and measure of responsibility is being able to stay at home alone. But that’s a scary time for you as a parent, no matter how excited your child is. You might not realize that many states have guidelines about when it’s okay to leave your child alone. Be sure to do your own research, particularly if your state doesn’t have a specific guideline. You may want to start with smaller, shorter experiences in which your child stays alone and then work up to gradually longer experiences as your child earns that right.
Making Solid Choices
A key feature of developing responsible behavior is knowing how to make the right choices. But if you never give your child a chance to make small decisions now, she’s not going to have the experience when it comes to bigger choices. And some of those bigger choices may happen when you’re not around. Let your child have practice by teaching and modeling decision-making now.
Follow Through With Consequences
Another part of being a responsible member of society is that there are consequences when a bad choice is made. Younger children might start by learning about the consequences of not taking care of their favorite toys or failing to clean up when they’re supposed to do so. As your child grows older, those consequences might change depending on what the choices are in each situation.
Set Goals Together
As you’re teaching your child about becoming more responsible, it can help to sit down and talk about setting goals. These goals might be centered around earning more privileges or achieving dreams and long-term desires. It’s never too early for kids to learn how to get a goal in mind and then break down the steps to reach that goal. Plus, learning how to do that now gives your child a safety net with you there to help every step of the way.
Responsibility is about more than just setting the table and making the bed. As your child learns to be accountable for her behavior and for the environment around her, she’ll also learn to apply those lessons to the rest of her life.
Comments & Reviews
Ashley Chassereau Parks says
I need to do better about giving my kids chores. My oldest has been asking, but I’m so tempted to do it for her because I feel like I’ll be faster. I think it would teach a lot of responsibility though and I know I will need the help when the next baby comes.
Michelle S says
These are excellent points. I have two teenagers now and we used many of these suggestions. We have pretty good kids – perfect, no, but I would definitely call them responsible.
I’ve had my now 6yr.old helping since he was old enough to understand.
Even if it was holding the dust pan while I swept or giving him a wash cloth to help dust, he loved it!
Now he picks up dishes, puts his clothes away, brings them to the laundry room, cleans his room (mostly) and helps with groceries (great learning experience).
They’re going to need these life skills… It’s never too early…
It’s never too early for chores
Amber Ludwig says
LOVE this!! So so true!! We start chores with my 5 year old!! He hates them but he needs them to learn to be a successful person one day 😉 Responsibility is such an important thing to have and learn!
Meagan BS says
These are all great tips. I practice all of them with my 10 year old. She does have a smart phone, but a jitterbug type device is a backup should she lose her privileges. She stays at home alone and is very responsible. She still has to be told to do chores, but she does them, and does them well.
Sandra Caballero says
I agree on this blog post. I gave my 8 years old chores since she was in preschool. Because students clean up after their mess in class. I did the same at home but of course with small chores for little ones. Now my 8 years old is washing dishes and vacuuming the rooms. She is helping me more now that I’m pregnant with my third baby. Soon I won’t be able to clean around much but I have my daughter to help me. I also have a 3 years old and I do have her pick up her toys and mess that she makes since she is in preschool. It’s great to teach kids responsibility and mind set on what they want to succeed. The cell phone and home alone is not near to happen. I’m waiting until the day I feel confident that she is old enough to understand the risk and responsibility of other stuff.
These are good and I agree with them. We always had chores and we didn’t collect an allowance for them either. With 5 children in the house staying home alone took awhile. Lol We blew just about every chance we got. There were pranks and tricks played on each other constantly. Someone would end up angry and tell mom what went on. Poor mom.