All parents want kids who will be responsible and do well in life. We want the best for our kids, and we want them to be able to handle most things for themselves as they get older.
To do this, parents have to instill a sense of responsibility in their kids.
That sense of taking responsibility for actions and doing things without being told is something that comes naturally for some kids but not for all of them. How do you help your kids develop their sense of responsibility? Instead of stressing out over irresponsible kids or causing you and they to be frustrated with your tough tactics, here are some fun ways to encourage this character trait.
Reward Then for Chores
You want your kids to do their chores and not need you to remind them about the chores constantly. One of the better ways to do that is to give them incentives for doing chores. You can do that by paying them an allowance at the end of every week or month. Get your kids excited about their allowance by asking them what they plan to buy with it. That will remind them that they need to do their chores without you having to nag them about it.
You can also reward them with outings, television time, and other things that they enjoy. Phil who is part of Imagine Maid says “To make chores more enjoyable and keep them from feeling like a burden, you can have professional maids clean periodically so the kids don’t have to- perhaps about once a month”.
Make a Game Out of Being Responsible
Kids love games- board games, video games, and sports. They will probably have a good time if you turn responsibility into a game for them. Make each instance of responsibility a fun challenge, for example. If you have multiple kids, you can create challenges by asking, “Which one of you will bring the most groceries inside?” Or you could challenge them to see who can clean their room the fastest or help the most people for the day. Think of ways you can make being responsible feel less like a chore and more like a fun challenge for them. Turning work into a game can help kids see the fun of doing work and being responsible.
Try Roleplaying Responsibility
This is similar to making a game out of being responsible, but you can have some fun with roleplaying while teaching your kids to take responsibility. Try pretending to be a pirate for the day and tell your kids something like “Pirate Dad is the most responsible pirate. That’s why all the other pirates like him” And then you can go about your day doing responsible things that your kids see you doing. As they watch you do your chores with a good attitude and a pirate impression, they will see your point you are making and have a good time with it. They may want to emulate you as well and model your good behavior and sense of responsibility with their own roleplaying.
Challenge Kids with Hypothetical Situations
Another way to encourage responsibility in your kids is to occasionally give them challenging questions. Ask something along the lines of, “If you saw someone was injured, what would you do?” Or you could ask them if they think they should clean up a spill when they see it or what they might do if they saw someone being bullied. In this way, you will get them to think about situations that they might not have been in yet and might not know the right thing to do. You can help them determine to make the best choices and be responsible when the time comes for them to go through a situation like that.
Get Them to Help You Out
Many kids will be hesitant to try new things or to offer their help on projects they aren’t sure they can handle. If you invite them to join you when you cook, clean, work on the car, or do other tasks, you can build up their confidence, spend quality time with them, and teach them about responsibility. As they are working with you, talk to them about why you are doing the job you are doing. Getting them to think about your sense of responsibility will help them to develop their own.
Be sure to talk about the benefits of doing that work and how it helps other people. Talk about how important it is to do things for others, especially for people who are unable to do things for themselves or for those that we love.
Put Them in Charge
Kids love being in control, but they often have very little control over their own lives as they grow up. Give them a chance to prove themselves and to take the lead, and you might be amazed at how they perform under that pressure. Look for opportunities where you can put them in charge, and they will love that sense of power, importance, and responsibility. They will probably take the challenge very seriously.
You can do this when the family is getting ready to cross the street. Tell your kid that they can let everyone know when it is safe to cross. You could try this when you are out hiking, telling your kid that they can lead the hike for a while. When you are doing a job with them, like baking, tell them that they can be in charge of it and you will let them know if they did something wrong.
Giving them some autonomy and a chance to lead will be great for them and will help them to see the challenges of leadership. They can develop a greater appreciation for those in authority over them and take more responsibility for their actions. Responsible kids are the leaders in their own lives when possible, and this is a fun way to teach them to lead while still providing a safety net for them, since you will be right there beside them.