Tips on Raising Responsible Children

One of the many jobs of raising a successful child is to teach them to be responsible for what they say and do. To take responsibility for one’s action shows good character and builds a strong self-confidence. This is true even when your child has to take responsibility for their mistakes. A responsible person is someone who acts with confidence in their abilities, doesn’t shy away from a problem and is trustworthy and steadfast, all qualities of successful people. This is a person that other people like to be around as they tend to be successful in their endeavors and share their successful outlook on life. This is part of what successful parents want for their children, it is part of the goal. You can give your child these positive traits by following these tips:

Start today. It is never too early to start teaching responsibility to your kids. Even if your child is just a baby, start by focusing on your behaviors getting in the habit of modeling responsible behavior. For toddlers, they love to please, make a big deal out of their helpful behavior when they help you pick up their things. Talk about what you are doing and let them hear the words: “We are being responsible for our stuff.” Allow preschoolers to do a bit more by assigning them a section to pick up or a certain type of toy, again modeling by picking up with them. When you are focusing on responsible behaviors with school age children, not only do you want to promote them picking up and such, but you also want to be sure that you are catching them doing things responsibly as not always around us and we don’t see everything they do in a day. Again use the words to convey what you mean, “Wow! You have gotten your homework done all week without having to be reminded. Thanks for taking responsibility for your work.” The same is true for older kids, tweens and teens. Start by catching them being responsible, then use the words to let them know. Send your child a clear message when you are setting your expectations. These are they things you will measure their behavior against. If you expect them to wash behind their ears, you’ve let them know that they have the responsibility of getting that done. They need to understand that is what you mean when you say, “Go! Get a bath!” Yes, I am serious. Spelling it out for your child is the way to go, even if you think they know what they are doing. Model being a responsible adult. When you act responsibly, your child will be watching and learning how to act responsibly. The same is true if you are acting irresponsibly – so, steer clear of irresponsible behaviors. You don’t want to have to explain to your high school student why they have to go to school when you take sick days at work to go golfing. While you are an adult and that is your choice to make, if your goal is to raise a responsible young adult, you’ll want to not indulge or be honest about it to your workplace. Develop reasonable expectations of your child. This may seem like it should be easy to do, but I have found that there are a lot of little things that can trip you up when setting expectations. You’ll want to treat each of your children different and not push their limits. Let them get into a comfortable habit of meeting your expectations before you up the bar any. If you up the bar too fast or go too high, they may get frustrated and start acting irresponsibly because they don’t feel they have the ability to do what you want. If this happens, it’s okay, just be sure to fall back and regroup. Create a goal and set up a plan. When your child is met with a new expectation, either from you or someone else, help them set up a goal to met the expectation with an action plan to achieve the goal. A step-by-step plan will ensure that they know what to do and how to get there. If it doesn’t work the first time through, change the plan and try again. When kids set realistic goals and then take the steps to achieve them, they learn valuable lessons. Among these lessons are how to try, how to focus, how to win, how to lose and how to be responsible for the actions they have taken to work toward their goal.

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