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Good Parenting 2017: How to Teach Responsibility to Your Children

When parents are asked about the traits they would like their children to have, one of the most common answers is to be responsible. Being responsible have a lot of meanings and they are commonly associated with keeping one’s word, meeting one’s commitments, being dependable, acknowledging mistakes, doing something to one’s ability, being accountable for one’s behavior, and being an asset to one’s family, community, and society. Parents often associate responsibility with obedience. Most parents instruct their children to follow their directions without questioning their authority. However, this is not at all responsibility, these are the qualities of obedience.

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. With practice and constant reminder, children develop a sense of ownership and they 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 an attitude of responsibility. 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. If you allow your child to do things you instruct on his own way will encourage a feeling of pride and accomplishment as well as foster a sense of accountability and 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. But there are also some situations wherein our children need our support and guidance for them to learn how to be responsible. It is essential to find the balance between under-parenting and over-managing by deciding the most critical and appropriate time to step in, and the time when it is best to let your child go so he can develop 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.