How do you teach a child to be responsible?
And how early can you teach them the value of responsibility?
Learning how to be responsible starts at an early age and gain over a long time. Start small and move up beginning with setting a good example and building good habits. Begin with age appropriate chores such as picking up toys. This is a chore they can do as early at 2 or 3 years old. Having them help you pick them up before a meal or at bedtime and as they grow older, decrease your help. Let them make decisions and what happens afterwards. If a child is allowed a $10 allowance that has to last them a week, let them decide how to use it. If it runs out before the next, stick with it lasting a week and let them go without. Children learn more by example then what we say. If your actions don't match what you want your children to do, then adjust your choices. Some biggest things you can do to encourage responsibility, as well as other values, is don't expect perfection just true effort. Don't be inconsistent because if children are not always expected to follow through they will start putting of. Don't delay by thinking your children are do young. There are a lot of resources for what is age appropriate. Last, and most important, give a lot of praise and very little negative responses. Children need to hear when they do something right. Make a big deal of it.
Lead by example! They will watch your actions and understand how to act responsibly. When things happen, you can explain how and why and show them how to act accordingly. In our home, we believe in natural consequences and accountability. Accountability naturally lends itself to responsibility.
Teaching a child responsibility is a process of patience and willingness. "Lead by example" is anybody's guess, but it's more to it. Child development is an interesting process to follow. read more
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