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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

How To Teach Kids Responsibility Around The House

“If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.”- Pauline Phillips

Responsibility is a broad term and it needs to be broken down at different levels to be understood and imbibed. The fact that kids have to be responsible is not something inborn, and parents need to understand that. So, it is their responsibility to help them understand ‘responsibility’ and how to ‘be responsible’.

But before that, parents need to define ‘responsibility’ as they want to teach their kids.

Here are some of the traits that count in:

· being dependable so that people can count on you

· respecting one’s word and agreements

· meeting one’s commitments,

· doing something to the best of one’s ability

· being accountable for one’s behaviour

· understanding the difference right and wrong

· accepting credit for good work and acknowledging mistakes too

· being a contributing member of in the family, and then to the larger community and society

Being responsible is a crucial for children to succeed in school and in the larger world when they grow up.

Next, let us understand why teaching responsibility to kids is important and its far-reaching benefits.

· It helps in decision making and problem solving

· It helps to boost their self-esteem and confidence

· It helps them in better goal setting

· It teaches them time management

· It teaches them respect people and their opinions

· It helps them to imbibe positive values and good character

· It teaches them the importance of sharing and caring

Teaching responsibility should not be a forceful task because taking responsibility is not like learning rules and formulas. There is a lot of judgement involved. It should be something joyful for your child, instead of a burden. All children want to see themselves as responsible and able to respond to what needs to be done. They don't want just to be doted on. They need, like the rest of us, to feel like they matter to the world, like their lives make a positive contribution.

So, sometimes you really don’t need to teach them responsibility, rather you have to make them believe in themselves and that they can also contribute to the bigger society.

Here are some of the ways in which you can help them understand responsibility and learn positive ways to handle it.

1) Choose the right time for teaching about responsibility- Start at the right time and in the right way. Don’t try to dictate it to them, rather start slow. Maybe you can start with planner, then some examples and explanations. Think of your child’s age before assigning tasks and activities.

2) Create opportunities at for responsible behaviour at home- Try to start at home with simple things like do not bail them out of a situation. Or create situations where you give them some responsibility to be fulfilled. Tell them what is expected of them. You can start with small things at home- things related to themselves like making the bed, putting away the shoes etc., then move onto other things like probably watering the lants, feeding the pet, etc.

3) Be their role model- It is important to display responsible behaviour yourself when you want your kids to learn. Show them what is right and what is wrong through your own actions, decisions, and judgements. Refrain from doing or saying things that sets a bad example.

4) Appreciate their deeds- Applaud them when they show responsible behaviour, but do not reprimand them when they do not. Rather give constructive feedback and tell them where they can correct or improve. Give them feedback on their actions.

5) Take breaks while teaching responsibility- Don’t start demanding or commanding when you are teaching your child. Rather let them understand themselves and imbibe it on their own.

Some examples that help them learn:

“If you make a sandwich for yourself, it’s your responsibility to put the dishes in the dishwasher.”

“I like the way you took care of that responsibility.”

“You know, it’s your responsibility to do that, and I like that you did it.”

“You know, I’m rewarding you because you met your responsibility.”


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