How To Encourage Responsibility For Kids

Teaching kids to be responsible is an important life skill. By introducing the idea that taking responsibility is rewarding, you can reinforce positive behavior and develop a desire to be responsible.  Responsibility for kids is an important thing to tailor to the age of the child.  Responsibilities should be slowly granted so that it does not overwhelm but rather encourages kids to want more.

Responsibility For Kids

Encouraging responsibility for kids starts with discussing the concept of responsibility. What does it mean to them? What do they think are some example of responsibility for themselves and for you? It also involves coming up responsibilities that are age appropriate for your children and letting them take ownership of a few tasks.  They should understand that having responsibility is a privilege, not a chore.

First, what is a good responsibility definition for kids?

When talking to your kids about responsibility, you should be empowering them to take ownership.  It is the idea that responsibility for something means we are in charge of that.  We have to live up our responsibility by doing what we should do- by doing what is right and needs to be done. Being responsible means that people know they can count on you.

Give Rewards

A lot of parents feel that rewarding responsible behavior reinforces the wrong ideas, but the reward is what most of us are after. When we work, we are going after the paycheck. When we cook, we want a good tasting and healthful meal. Our children are no different. So when they do something awesome, acknowledge it and reward it, even if it’s just with frugal rewards such as a hug or a used book.  The idea of rewarding your child when they make responsible decisions, is to teach kids that responsibility is desirable.

4 Activities That Offer Responsibility For Kids

4 ways to teach kids responsibility- child caring for a pet4 ways to teach kids responsibility- child caring for a pet

Caring for a Pet

Caring for the family pet can be a great way to teach responsibility. Explain that your pet depends on your child in much the same way that your child depends on you. Not only will your child feel important and grown up, but she or he will also develop a close bond with your family’s pet which is only achieved by caring for that animal.

Open a Bank Account

Teaching children how to handle, balance, and save money is one of the best things you can do to teach your child how to be a productive and responsible member of society. Most banks are open to working with parents who would like to open a checking account for a minor, most often as a joint account. Opening a bank account is a great way to teach your child to budget.  Your child will feel in control and will be given the opportunity to learn how to balance and budget.

Make a Job Board

Designate an area where you can post extra jobs that need to be done around the house along with the price you are willing to pay for those jobs. Payment for the jobs can be in the form of cash, time spent with your child, giving them their choice for dinner, or any other reward you can think of. Using cash will give your child the opportunity to learn about spending. Using other rewards, such as playing a game at the table after taking the dishes to the kitchen, teaches your child a more immediate lesson about cause and effect.

Responsibility Chart For Kids

You may which to make a simple weekly responsibility chart, where they can earn stickers for age appropriate responsibilities.

Examples include:

  • picking up their toys
  • washing their hands before meals
  • doing homework
  • making their bed
  • putting their dishes in the dishwasher
  • washing their clothing (or putting it in the hamper)
  • walking the dog
  • feeding the goldfish
  • watering houseplants
  • etc.

Kids naturally want to be responsible as they see it can mean new freedoms. Sometimes they are less eager as they find out it can mean more work or being held accountable. The main thing is to encourage them. Let them know that they won’t always be perfect but trying their best to be responsible is something you admire.

Try to keep your child’s interests in mind when planning activities or rewards to teach kids responsibility. Make the tasks as fun as possible. Make the rewards something your child will strive for, and your child will do the rest.  What are some of your tips and tricks to teach kids responsibility?

Related Posts:

Creative Reward Ideas For Kids

10 Benefits Of Cooking With Your Child

How To Teach Kids Financial Responsibility

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