Every parent’s goal, while raising their children, is for them to be good and responsible adults who are well adjusted and helpful in society. It is important that as adults your children can be independent, productive, and a valuable asset to their society. Raising a responsible child with a strong character is a skill that is inculcated from a young age. While it is not a difficult task, it takes some effort and consistency from the parents.
In this article, we will look at ways parents can guide their children to be responsible and how they can gain the child’s cooperation.
What is the Meaning of Responsibility for a Child?
For very young children we confine the meaning of responsibility to only one thing–to meet their physical needs. A baby cries when it is hungry, thirsty, needs to be cleaned, or wants to feel safe, secure, and loved. But as a child grows older and starts interacting with people other than the primary caregivers, responsibility expands. For pre-school and EYFS children, responsibility includes being aware and taking care of:
Themselves and their belongings.
Their loved ones including pets in the family.
Chores assigned to them.
Their studies and their homework.
Their relationships with adults and peers.
Their time and money.
Raising Responsible Kids Tips For Parents
Let us be clear on one thing, being responsible is not just completing a task that has been assigned. Rather, it is an attitude the child has. The child should be proactive and take pride in doing things. Doing something just because a parent or an adult asks is not a responsibility, it is just completing an obligation. This distinction has to be made clear to the child from the beginning. Here are some tips on how parents can help to raise a responsible child.
Begin at a young age: No age is too young to teach a child. Even a baby should be taught responsibility. We can give even toddlers responsibilities like taking care of their toys, clothes and helping out. The best way to do it is to let the child be involved with what you are doing and encourage it to assist you. Children feel a sense of accomplishment in helping adults and being praised for their good work goes a long way in instilling a sense of responsibility and pride in doing a job.
Let your child do things he/she can do on their own: Let the children do things for themselves. This gives them confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Refrain from jumping in to solve the child’s problem the moment you see them faltering. If you keep solving their problems, they will never learn the skills of problem-solving and will always depend on you to help them out even as adults. So let your children learn how to deal with problems and intervene only when they have exhausted all their resources.
Consistency: Children get confused when the instructions that they receive are not clear or consistent. Be consistent with your instructions. If the child has to finish their homework before they go out to play, make sure they do it before allowing them to play and stick with the rule without exception.
Lead by example: Children learn by emulating their adults. You cannot expect your child to be responsible when you are not. So be responsible for your actions, what you say and do in front of the child should be exactly what you expect them to do under the same circumstances.
Realistic Expectations: Children need to know what we expected of them. They perform best when they have clear instructions and expectations. However, the parent should have realistic expectations of their children. You cannot expect an 18-month-old baby to clean up but you can certainly expect a three-year-old to help you with cleaning up by doing small things.
“The greatest gift you can give your child are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence”.
Impart skills: If you want your child to do something first teach it how to do it. You cannot expect a child to do things without being taught. Give the child directions and clear instructions.
Praise: Nothing works its magic like praise. Positive affirmation goes a long way in boosting the confidence of the child. Even if the child hasn’t done a thing exactly as you may have wished. Instead of saying this is wrong–you can say this is nice but it would be better if this was like this. It will help the child understand what she did wrong while teaching her the right way to do it.
Provide routines and structure in their lives: Having a clear-cut routine to the day helps the child to be more organized and is a crucial skill of being a responsible citizen. Routine household chores and repetitive tasks provide structure to a child’s day, help it to acquire skills, and develop good habits that can last a lifetime.
Honing their social skills: Interaction with people is a part of being responsible. Let your child explore her/his relationships and find a balance. If you see your child being overbearing, bullying, or being rude or mean, talk to them and make them see that their behavior is not right. Instead of scolding, have a meaningful conversation that would help the child understand that his/her action can hurt other people and influence their behavior towards the child.
Teaching responsibility and cooperation is not a one-off thing. Constant practice instills it. By following the tips given above, you can maximize your efforts towards raising a responsible child.
At Green Grass Nursery, our teachers constantly work to ensure that your child learns to be responsible and accountable for his/her actions. We collaborate with our parents to use positive affirmations and rewards to inculcate good habits in the children. Raising a responsible child (in any culture) requires empathy and patience, we at Green Grass Nursery understand the process and enforce these principles among our children.
Green Grass Nursery