Everyone wants their kids to become responsible so that they can grow up to become matured adults. However, teaching responsibility to your kids is completely up to you. Kids can be a bit stubborn and will not always listen to you. However, it is not a very difficult job. You just need to start early and have some patience. Here are 10 tips on how to teach your child to be responsible (see other practical parenting tips).
1. Be the example
If you want your kids to be responsible, then you will have to become responsible first. In the initial few years, a kid will follow whatever you do. If your kid sees that you are getting late for work every day, then he will also think that getting late is not a big deal. Hence, your actions are very important and will directly impact your child.
Also, try to keep the promises which you make. If you promise your kid a birthday gift, then make sure that you fulfill that. Your child will also learn the value of sticking to promises.
2. Ask your child for help
You should also try to make your kid feel more involved in the decision-making activities of your household. It will make your child feel more important, and a sense of responsibility will automatically set in.
For example, if you are planning to buy a new car, then give your kid two options and ask him to choose one. You can also ask his opinion on what to wear for a party. This will also improve his decision-making skills.
3. Read books
This is one of the best and easiest ways to teach your kids responsibility. There are some parents who think that reading books is a waste of time, but actually, they are very helpful. Through stories, they learn how to differentiate between good and bad, and also learn other useful life lessons as well.
However, make sure that you choose your books wisely. It should ideally be something which is inspiring and more importantly has a happy ending. Don’t go for stories which are too negative. They may have a bad effect on your kid’s mind.
4. Be a little strict
In order to teach your kids responsibility, you need to be a bit strict. Make them understand that there will be consequences if they don’t do their work properly. For example, if your child enters the house without removing his shoes, tell him that he won’t get to watch TV for one day if he does it again.
If you don’t say anything to them, then they will take you for granted and will not take responsibility. However, do not become over strict and don’t punish them for minor mistakes. It will have a negative effect on them. There is actually a very thin line between being strict and being over strict. Hence, you have to be very careful with your actions.
5. Assign age-based responsibilities
In order to teach your kids responsibility, they need to know how to work with appropriate tasks. Unless they work from an early age, they will never understand how the real world works. However, the work which you assign to them should be appropriate for their age.
For example, a 5-year-old guy can help you to groom the pet dog. A 7 or 8-year-old kid can help you with some of the household chores. However, make sure that you don’t give them too much work to do.
6. Create a routine
A kid becomes more responsible when he follows a specific routine. Hence, your job is to first create a routine, which can be followed easily. For example, fix the time in which your kid will go to bed and when he will wake up, and the things which he should do immediately after waking up.
Make sure that your child follows the routine closely. And if there is a mistake, instead of saying ‘ Pack your Bags’, you can also say ‘ You are forgetting something’. This will ensure that your child doesn’t make the same mistake again.
7. Start young
It is very important that you start teaching responsibility from a young age. Don’t wait until your kid turns 12 or 13. Start from as early as possible. Being responsible takes time.
If you start teaching responsibility to your kid at an early age, then by the time he becomes a teenager, he will become fully responsible. But if you start from the teenage years, then it will already be too late.
8. Keep on praising them
It is very important that you praise your kids for their efforts. All kids like to be praised and this will also help them stay motivated. It also helps to form a better relationship with your child.
For example, if they pack their own bags and gets ready for school on time, then give them a pat on their back and say ‘ Well done’. It sounds simple, but it really boosts their confidence.
Praises generally work for most kids. However, you can also reward them for performing their responsibilities. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant. Just something to show them, that you appreciate their work.
For example, if he finishes his homework on time, then cook his favorite meal. Also promise him, that if he does it again, then he will again get a reward. This helps to keep them motivated. After a certain point of time, they will no longer need rewards to finish their work.
10. Teach them to be honest
Honesty is one of the most important things which you need to teach your kids. If he is honest, then he will automatically become more responsible. As mentioned before, to teach honesty, you have to become honest yourself. Never lie in front of your kids.
You should also talk to them regularly. They should be able to come up to you and talk freely. Even if they say something which you don’t approve of, then don’t make the mistake of criticizing them, Because, if you do, then they will lie the next time.