A Responsible kid is every parent’s desire! Most parents feel that responsibility is inherent. Well, that is a wrong way to look at the virtue. Responsibility, like most other virtues, needs to be taught in the best possible way to the child. You can make the child feel and behave responsibly. It is a tough task indeed but, not an impossible one. Parents of a slightly irresponsible child always lament on the fact that their child does not behave responsibly. Well, you could try to get them to show responsibility instead of lamenting. You could try out the various ways laid out in front of you to get them more responsible. Remember the ways are really tough for you as a parent. Most times parents tend to be protective about their kids. But, when you wish to teach responsibility, try not to be protective.
1. Begin at the Beginning
Everything has a perfect time attached to it. If you are talking of teaching responsibility to your child, you should start when your child is really young. Start getting your child to act responsibly once he/she is old enough to understand things. Small and simple tasks like winding up their games once done with playing, giving back empty bottles once finished drinking, throwing the waste in the dustbin, picking up their clothes and putting them in proper place etc. These are things that if you teach the kid at the very beginning gets imbibed in his characteristic. You might want to pamper your kid by doing all this for him/her. But, in reality you are not allowing your child to grow responsible. Appreciate your child every time he does the things taught to him/her properly. Praising always helps in teaching responsibility.
2. Learning from Mistakes
This is the best way to learn and adapt to responsibility. A method that most parents don’t prefer! If your child has made a mistake, let him do the suffering too. Let him learn to face the consequences. Yes, you love your child alright. But, you need to remember that by covering up for him and not allowing him to face the consequence of his mistake, you are actually doing him damage. You are not preparing your child for the big bad world outside. Sheltering him is not going to be possible all the while. You won’t be by his side always. Remember this and stay away when he makes a mistake. When he faces the hard consequences he grows up a bit and becomes more responsible.
3. Recognition is Important
Don’t we all crave for some recognition and appreciation? When we as adults perform better with each stroke of appreciation, they are kids at the end of the day. If they are behaving responsibly. how about acknowledging that and appreciating them for the same. With such massive strokes of appreciation, they are motivated to be more responsible. Just like us adults who believe that they can achieve better results every time they are praised by the bosses, children also need their dose of love and appreciation. Such things move in a positive direction towards a better future.
4. No Money in Responsibility
A mistake that most parents make is teaching their kids responsibility by making them earn money. Never make them feel that they should do an odd job just so that they can earn money. This way they have no feelings of responsibility or care towards the work assigned. Get them to want to do the work. When you pay them to mow the lawn, they just see the money. It is fine but, you need to teach them that the work is more important than the reward. This way they can perform better and be more responsible and mature in life. By looking at the rewards, they will never realize the fun of doing something good and being good at it. Never try teaching responsibility by shoving money. It never works.
5. Work as a Team
You can explain responsibility to a child by working towards it as a team. When the entire family starts off with being responsible, the child learns better. You as parents along with your child can divide the role at the dining table. You can also divide your Sunday chores among yourselves. This way the child would see the parents working along-side and get more reasons to do the chores. They adapt better to what they see So to get them to act responsibly, you need to do your part well.
6. Have Faith
You mould your child’s future! If you keep saying your child is dumb, he will grow into a dumb adult. Yes, a child matures into a human in the way his parents see him. They don’t have an identity of their own but, they tend to follow the one that their parents carve for them. So remember, you need to carve the best identity for your child. Even if you lose control, have faith in him/her. Have faith that he/she will behave responsibly. The moment you start believing in his actions, he will start believing in them himself and act accordingly. Yes, a little faith pays off well in case of a child. Faith is an area where most parents face difficulty. But, if you wish a better future for your child, try acting accordingly. Don’t put him down in actions or words.
7. Opportunity to Act
You won’t know how responsible your child is till the time you don’t give him some way to act responsibly. Give your child the opportunity to take up some responsibility along the way to prove his dependability. Responsibility comes when you take the ownership of a task and, there is no one to actually help you through. Of course you can guide your child but don’t do it on his behalf.
You make responsible children out of normal kids. It is not an inherent virtue. Try to work with your child towards a responsible future. Make sure you don’t lose patience at any point.