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Teach children responsibility

What does it mean to teach your children responsibility? Each parent has a different response and a different expectation of when and how their child will take personal responsibility. One thing is for sure and that is that responsibility must be taught. It is not a natural ability, but it can be learned at any age. You do not become responsible when you are mature, but you become mature when you are responsible.

Four variables in this exciting adventure;

1. Your child (learning style, age, motor skills, interest, hot spots or incentives)

2. Your expectations (perfection or always learning, do you punish for the truth?)

3. Your example (use the 4 R’s, recognize, remorse, restitution and resolve to correct

4. Coherence and monitoring (natural and logical consequences)

External responsibility deals with everyday things (life skills) housework, brushing teeth,
return videos on time. These are habits that make us productive and reliable.

Internal responsibility deals with attitudes, beliefs, and values. This is where we look
the heart. It means admitting mistakes, being selfless, caring about other people’s health,
property and feelings.

2-step process:

1. Teach them the skill until it becomes a habit and then it will eventually become
automatic action Automatic action is action without conscious thought or
planning. This is the difference between prior decisions and situational ethics. For
e.g. clearing the plate from the table, brushing teeth, leaving the bike
far. You don’t have to decide what to do every time.

2. Praise attitude, performance, and effort. Use natural and logical consequences.
to reinforce the lesson. “Thank you for picking up your toys without being asked. It’s
makes it easier for the whole family to maneuver when we don’t have to climb over it
toys on the floor.

You can’t expect a 35-year job from a 10-year job. You also can’t expect a 10-
work of a 10-year-old boy who is not clear about what is expected of him. We will have to
occasionally jump in and help them do an unpleasant task, but don’t do it for them.

Voice and Choice: The more opportunity the child has to “own” the decision or
problem, the more you will learn. The purpose of allowing natural consequences
occur and to design logical consequences is to encourage children to take responsibility
options, don’t punish them. This method allows the child to choose and then be
responsible for the decision if it goes well or not. Most children, when
allowed to make bad decisions, learn from the consequences. The most effective method
of teaching is that you remain practical and do not punish. This means separate
the deed of the doer. If he was trying to teach his son a new skill, like playing the piano
or tennis, you’ll probably be patient. You would expect and accept some mistakes.

Consider the responsibility of teaching in the same way. Consider slips or wrong choices as
learning experience rather than a personal affront to your ability as a parent or teacher
and everyone will be happy, more cooperative and responsible.

© 2004 Judy H. Wright, personal historian, parent educator, and author –

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