Helping children learn about responsibility

kids-choresWhen we talk about responsibilities we are generally talking about the job we have, the things that are required of us to do to make our lives or that of others better.  Just as important as it is to get the job done, doing so with a good attitude is important also.

How do we feel or express ourselves about our responsibilities? Do we grumble about them, mope about or become upset when it is time to perform our work?  This question is important for both parents and children to consider.  We want to invite our children to start young taking on what they are able to do.  However most times it takes them longer, they may not do the ‘perfect’ job and it is easier and faster for us to do it ourselves as parents.

How do we teach our children to be responsible members of the family and not do so begrudgingly?

When it is time to do our chores about the house, smile, invite our children to be part of the team – taking on some of the responsibility.  Starting them at a young age will make them feel valued and a part of the team, and they are learning to take on some of the chores.  Let them know that you rely on them to do this part of the work, hold them accountable for the finished product and depend on them to do their part even as they grow older.

Responsibility is really about us using our ability to respond to what is required or needed and expected from us.  As parents we not only set the example, but we also need to set expectations and let our children know what is required, needed and expected.  Then – do not do it for them.  In the end they will be amazing members of any community they are a part of, because they understand that responsible people do their part – even when they are not asked to do so.