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Living in a more comfortable environment and economic condition will give less pressure and awareness for children to be more responsible in many different ways. It doesn't happen to all children, but it is generally harder for parents to teach children to be more responsible in all their actions these days than it was in the parents' childhood. It also happens with my children. I have been trying hard thinking how to increase the sense of being responsible for my children anytime and anywhere. If you have the same problem with me, I am trying to share what in my mind about teaching responsibility to children. If you feel that you have got a milestone to teach responsibility to children, why don't you share your tips and suggestions in the comment. I will be very happy.
It is not easy to teach responsibility to children. Some parents like me might have pulled hair to do this to certain child, but nothing to teach to other child. In this post, I am trying to get systematic to my thoughts from:
- What expected kinds of responsibility sense
- What makes children not responsible
- The Ideas to teach responsibility to children
Let's start it one by one.
The Expected Sense of Responsibility
The existence of sense of responsibility is different in both quality and quantity from one person to another. There are children who have got great sense of responsibility since they were born in any way. On the other hand, there are also children who need a great deal of help to grow the sense of responsibility in general.
The fields of responsibility sense are various as well. I take this examples from my own children. I feel that they need to get trained in Here are some examples:
- The sense of responsibility to start and to finish
- tidy up the toys or works after using them
- close the cupboards after open them
- shut down the computer after using it
- The sense of responsibility to do tasks, roles, or duty. Examples:
- the awareness to do the tasks without prior warning
- being understand and do their roles in the right time and place. When they have to do some errands, they will do as it is expected to do.
- do their chores without being warned.
- The sense of responsibility to receive and to do the consequences of decisions or rules.
- when they make mistakes, they will take the consequence
- they are willing to accept their lost or win for their decision.
What Makes Children Have Less Responsible Attitude
Before we talk about the way we can teach being responsible to children, let's take a look at some reasons and conditions that make children have less responsible attitudes. These are not the only reasons for them not being responsible.
- They always rely on someone else do and finish some actions or task.
- They are not confident in doing the actions
- They are not used to and nobody reminds them.
- They need reasons to be responsible.
- They are lazy to be responsible.
- They are lack of sensitivity for the needs of responsibility
Ideas to Teach Responsibility to Children
As I mentioned in the beginning, being responsible needs to be nurture. It is not always something born naturally. Some conditions might force people to be responsible naturally. However, active roles of parents are needed above all most of the time before the forceful bitter condition happens. Considering the causes that make children have less responsible attitude, here are some points you can use to teach responsibility to children:
- Letting children do their work on their levels and don't always give them a back up.
In this way, they will feel the win and lost caused by their decision in their level naturally. Many parents are worried to see their children fail in doing their work, so that they give backup when they make mistakes.
I have an extreme example for this. The worst thing that I did and my school parents do was helping children do some arts and craft work so they will not fail. Well, it has been a public secret that teachers at school also know. Schools want to display the best children works to outsiders to show how qualified their schools are so they don't want to know who made the works and how they were made. The condition was different with when I went to school. The competition between schools were not as hard as it is right now, so this kind of action would not happen.
- Delegating works to children will train children to be responsible.
Giving responsibility to children is very risky for many different ways. Parents are often worried about giving responsibility to children. On the other hand, it will train them to be used to take responsibility. Of course, we need to control their work to avoid the risk it might make. Some delegation can be given from the chores to occasional works.
To get them responsible confidently, you also need to show and to guide them. It is not only rows of commands. Children need to know the steps in some cases.
- Anticipate the irresponsibility before it happens.
Without sounding too chatty and fuzzy, you can give reminder where you expect them to take the responsibility. Here are what I find quite successful with our children:
- Before going out of the car, I always remind them to the points they need to do before they go away somewhere and make me shout at home. In the car, I will remind them to tidy up the luggage before they take a shower and play.
- Before we arrive at church, I always remind them where they are going to be and how they are supposed to behave in the place of worship.
- Get them to repeat after you the expectation you have reminded them.
- Give the children checklist
Well, using planner or agenda with task lists will be very useful to remind children about things that they need to do. It is not always about the academic work, but you can focus on certain things one by one and try to make them goals together.
Show them the success and fails in doing the responsibility. Discuss them together so children will know the feeling of being success and fail because of the actions of being responsible.
- Make a journal
You can make a journal with children to show how they can improve themselves in taking for responsible in certain period. Journal can be a variation of checklists for certain children. Journal will be more open ended for children to write on than using checklists.
Well, it is not easy to get children being sensitive towards the responsibility they need to take in the natural condition they meet. Parents need to be patient to wait for the maturity. I always believe that the time of automatic sense of being responsible will come one day. Rather than being a passive parent, isn't it better for us to teach responsibility to children?