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Good Parenting 2017: How to Teach Responsibility to Your Children

One of the most common responses among parents when are asked about the traits would like their children to have is to be responsible. Being responsible have a lot of meanings and they are commonly associated with keeping one’s word, meeting one’s commitments, being dependable, acknowledging mistakes, doing something to one’s ability, being accountable for one’s behavior, and being an asset to one’s family, community, and society. Parents often associate obedience with responsibility. There are many parents wanting their children to do what they are asked to do, to follow their directions without questioning their authority. However, this is not at all responsibility, these are the qualities of obedience.

Over time, many parents want their children to accept ownership for a chore or task, and their children do it because it needs to be done, and eventually they accept that it’s their obligation to do it. With practice and constant reminder, children develop a sense of ownership and they may even initiate performing a task over time with constant reminder and practice because it needs to be done and not because they are being told to do so, which is an attitude of responsibility. Parents should know when to give up the things they like and their exact timetable, and allow their child to move from obedience to responsibility basing on their own pace. Allowing a child to freely do on his own way with certain degree of limitation will encourage a feeling of pride and accomplishment, fostering a sense of responsibility. When considering the transition from obedience to responsibility, there are issues raised about how involved you should be when helping your child meet his commitments and complete tasks.

There are many parents who are afraid that their children suffer the consequences of life’s failure, trials, and challenges so they do so much for their children, and when this happens, they don’t learn to take responsibility by themselves. But there are also some instances when children need the guidance and support of their parents so they can learn the sense of responsibility. It is very important to know how to find balance between under-parenting and over-managing by knowing and deciding when is the most appropriate time to step in, and when is the best time to effectively let your child go to develop his sense of maturity and responsible behaviors. In order to develop their sense of responsibility, it is important to allow your child to join extracurricular activities, keep a pet such as a butterfly koi or puppy, and give your children household chores or tasks. As parents, we are responsible for the welfare of our children, and we want them to be responsible citizens, but their primary role model is us, so we need to show them that we are also responsible enough to handle our parenting responsibilities.

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