Why is it so important to teach kids responsibility? Children are not born responsible adults. Turning them into responsible adults is your job. It’s a huge responsibility. The future of the world lies literally in the hands of parents all around the world. This is serious business. The kids of today are the people who will care for us as we age. They will be in charge of the world in the not too distant future. It’s absolutely essential that you do the best parenting job possible. Teaching kids responsibility is one area of parenting that makes a huge difference to the future of our world. Do it right.
Don’t Baby Them
Babying your children by fulfilling their every need and desire is no way to teach kids responsibility. Show them love, absolutely. Show them compassion, absolutely. When it comes to responsibilities, make sure they have some. Even the smallest child should be held responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Don’t baby them. Respect them. Show them they are trusted with responsibility and they will show you they can handle it.
Let Them Fall / Make Them Fall
How do we learn responsibility? Through failure. I once read a parenting book that told readers to “pull the rug out and let the little buggers tumble”. Kids learn through their mistakes just like we do. Letting them make mistakes is one of the best way to teach kids responsibility and other life lessons. In fact, if you can, find a way to make them fall. In other words, allow them to make little mistakes along the way that will prevent them from making the big ones later.
What’s the very best way to teach kids responsibility or anything else? Lead by example. You should never expect your kids to do anything you don’t do yourself. Take care of your responsibilities and they will learn how to take care of theirs. Be careful with this one. Make sure you are not so responsible that you do their work for them. This teaches them nothing but how to take advantage of you and everyone else in the world. Don’t hand them the world on a silver platter. Make them earn it.
Don’t Let it Slip Away
It’s very hard for your kids to gain upward momentum on a slippery slope. Letting a child slide on their responsibilities just once sends them a message that there is hope for getting away with it next time. It’s very easy to slide rapidly downhill, not so easy to climb up after they’ve hit bottom. A lack of responsibility can sneak up on you. Be firm and consistent when doling out chores. More importantly, carry through by seeing they get done.
This one parenting tip has saved my life on numerous occasions. Let your kids hear you brag about them. Talk about how helpful it was to you when they just stood up and cleared the table without being asked. Tell all your friends how awesome they are. Make sure you talk far more about the good things they do than you do about their mistakes. Even in the teen years, when you are pulling your hair out in frustration, find something good to say about them every day. Never belittle them in front of friends and family. My Mom used to say, “Twinkle twinkle little star, what you say is what they are”. No wonder I turned out so great!