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7 Ways To Raise A More Responsible Child

Updated on March 1, 2013

Yes, You Can Teach Your Child to Be More Responsible

As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be responsible and overall good adults. We would like our children to learn to feel, think and act with respect for themselves as well as other people.

You are the most important teacher your child will ever have. Your children will learn by the example you set. If your children see you being responsible, they will follow your lead and want to also act responsible.

If children do not learn the proper values and behavior when they are very young, problems can develop, no I take that back, they will develop.

Below are 7 ways to help make this a reality.

1. Start when your child is young.

Don't wait too long

As soon as your child is old enough to understand, he is old enough to begin to help. You should introduce your child to helping with simple tasks like bringing you a clean diaper when he needs to be changed or handing you his bottle when he is finished.

Children inherently want to help out. You can watch your kids at an early age and see that they always want to bring stuff to you. You have to teach them by giving them praise (isn't that what parents are supposed to do anyway). Praising your child will help build your child's confidence and sel-esteem and will also develop a pattern of helping out throughout your child's life.

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2. Let the consequences of your child's mistakes happen

As parents it is tough to see our childen suffer if we can help it. At the same time, parents that protect their children from any consequences of their actions are doing a huge disservice to their children.

As parents, out goal is to teach our children to be good, responsible adults. As we all know (except for those in Hollywood), once they become an adult, no one is going to be able to shelter them when they are careless and make bad decisions.

When you child makes a mistake, do him a favor by not bailing him out. Let your child learn that there are consequences to their behavior, both good and bad. By allowing your child to be responsible for their actions, you are actually allowing them to learn to be dependable.

Yes, at times it will be very tough. In the long run it will help you child to grow into a responsible adult.

3. Acknowledge your child when they are acting responsibly

We all love recognition. When your child is behaving in a trustworthy and responsible manner you should point it out to them and encourage them. Children must also learn that trustworthy and responsible behavior result in positive consequences.

This encouragement will ensure they continue with this type of behavior.

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4. Don't buy your child's help

You want to build an internal desire to assist you and not one based upon receiving a payment.

You should have your child learn how good it feels to help and give to others. When your child gets a reward for assisting, you teach them to focus on the reward and not on the real reason for helping others.

Instead of rewarding your child you can show them your gratitude by saying something like, "I really apprecate how you helped me clean the house today and I want to do something nice for you too. How about we go and pick out a movie at the movie store and watch it tonight before going to bed."

This allows you to motivate your child to help without focusing on the reward. You child will also remember that occasionally they might receive something unexpected for helping.

Don't give up on your child...They need you!

5. Responsibilty should be a family value

Show your child that everyone in your family should be responsible. Discuss the need to be responsible with everyone in the family at the dinner table and explain that each family member is responsible for clearing their part of the table after eating.

Your child should see that you are responsible. You will be amazed how much more your child will learn from what you do than by what you say. Remember, our children love to imitate their parents. Set the standard for your children. The old saying, "Do as I say not as I do" does notwork well when trying to raise responsible children.

6. Believe in your child

This is the most important way to teach your child become responsible. Children have not defined themselves at an early age. Children get there self-image from those around them and how those around them respond.

If you view your child as being responsible then your child will grow to fit those expectations. Likewise, if you express to your child know that they are not responsible, they will grow into those expectations.

Show your child today that you believe in them.

7. Give your child responsibility

Allow your children the opportunity to act responsibly

It is a fact that children do not just become more dependable and responsible as they get older. They become more dependable and responsible by taking on responsibility.

The only way your child will learn to become repsonsible and dependable is by having the opportunity to do so.

Give your child a chance to show you that they can be responsible and dependable. Your child will grow from these opportunities. If you coach your child correctly, you will notice they will learn more from their mistakes than their triumphs.

What's your thought on these parenting tips? - Help others by giving your feedback on these parenting tips

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    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @JustineKnott: Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

    • JustineKnott profile image


      5 years ago

      I love your point about not buying your child's help. I agree it's very important that they become intrinsically motivated. Great lens.

    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @MarcellaCarlton: Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love your lens! These are perfect. A child should value themselves and know that they are a valuable contributor to society. That knowledge comes from the adults around them.

    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @fuzzybear2: Thanks for stopping by! I am so glad you found the information useful. Good luck in your plans for having a baby.

    • fuzzybear2 profile image


      6 years ago

      There is much I learn from you people here since we are planning to have a baby soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I totally agree with you that parents need to be parents. Kids need and actually want boundaries to help them grow up. Parents need to be the ones to set the boundaries and hold the kids accountable when those boundaries are breached.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      My one parenting tip would be to always be a parent. So many parents seem to want to be buddies or friends with their kids instead of guiding hands. You are a parent first and a friend to your child second.

    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @patriciabruce1: Thanks for stopping by and checking out the lens!

    • patriciabruce1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Another great lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good Info! Thank you for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree wholeheartedly. I shake my head at parents who reward their kids with money or gifts when they get good grades. They should be getting them regardless!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      8 years ago from US/TN

      An excellent subject. Blessed!

    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      [in reply to rlmodranski]

      Thanks for the comment. I see media coverage everyday where people do not take responsibility for their actions. Kids see this kind of behavior and think that it is acceptable. We have to stand up and hold people, especially our kids, accountable for their actions, both good and bad.

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Great Job! As parents take the responsibility to teach their children responsibility, the world will become a better place

    • Joanna14 profile image

      Christine Hulme 

      10 years ago from SE Kent, England

      Hi, great tips and info here! So true what you say! We can't keep them in the nest forever. Children really need to know what it means to belong, by playing their part and learning to give in the safe environment of their family.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      very nice site! I expecially like the module about letting them experience consequences. For me, growing responsibility in my kids has been a lot easier since they've gotten a little older - but I'm convinced that the early efforts paved the way.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Lucky you!! You're this weeks featured Lens on Parenting on Squidoo. Go ahead, take a peek!


      Why Does My Child Bite?

    • RickByrd1 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Hey bygproductions:

      That is a great tip from your friend. I really like the idea of making it a right of passage.

      I hope you friend does not mind if I borrow that idea.

    • VSP profile image


      10 years ago

      Along th line of tip #7, I have a friend that gives her children a new responsibility at each birthday. It's more like a right of passage than a chore.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for joining "Parenting on Squidoo" Great Lens, which I will be featuring!

      5 Stars!


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Good information here. Thank you so much. 5*

      big bright head

    • AldricChang1 profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi, this is a very nice and informative lens. Thanks for sharing it :) 5 stars for you! I've also got a lens on a brand new preschooler cartoon at I hope you can visit it and give me your thoughts and votes :)

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      10 years ago from Croatia

      I agree with everything that you wrote here. I think that parents are the first one to be their child's role-models. 5* and lensroll it to my 'Top 10 educational toys'.


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