As you raise a child, there are many things you need to teach them to ensure they are well-adjusted and successful through their life. One of the most important traits to teach a child is a sense of responsibility. Without responsibility, there is a sense of entitlement where they expect the world will do everything for them. Responsible people take proactive action to get things done quickly and properly, which is a great quality to have no matter how old someone is. With that said, we have gathered some tips to help you teach your child responsibility. One responsibility children can benefit from is taking control over their health and fitness. Bring them to Rebounderz in Lansdale to show them how fun physical activity can be!
-Start Teaching Them Young
If you try to teach a teenager responsibility when they haven’t had those expectations previously, you’re much more likely to get push-back on what you ask them to do. At that point, entitlement has already started to set in, and they’re much less likely to follow through on chores or other responsibilities. Instead, start teaching your child about responsibility when they’re young — around toddler age — so they have an understanding of what is expected of them early in their life. Small activities such as putting away toys when they’re done playing is a perfect level of responsibility to start off with.
-Invite Them To Help
We know housework is probably not your favorite thing to do, but you can make it fun while teaching your child about responsibility. Make it a team activity and let your child help out, even if that makes it take a bit longer to complete. If you’re handwashing dishes, have your kiddo dry them off and put them away. This is a great opportunity to teach your little one about taking ownership of their area, which will give them pride when they take care of it. Having them help with a chore that has multiple steps will also teach them about breaking tasks into pieces to make them more manageable.
-Get On Their Level
As you’re teaching your child anything, especially responsibility, it’s important to do it at their skill level. If you throw them into an activity that is too intense for them, it will cause them to lock up and avoid responsibility in the future. Show them how to finish simple tasks that they would need to know how to do. For instance, if your kid wants a snack, show them where the fruit is and how to clean it off. This will allow them to do this sort of thing on their own in the future. When you start off small and show them how to do things, it gives them a greater sense of self-sufficiency and makes them more likely to take on more responsibility as they get older.
-Set a Good Example
Kids learn a lot about how to act from watching their parents. When you show them how to take responsibility through your own actions, they understand that is just a normal part of life. However, just because you’re setting an example doesn’t mean they should just be a bystander watching what you do. Make it an inclusive activity, saying something like, “Now that dinner is done, we put our dishes in the sink.” Have the rest of the family participate as well to show everyone has things they are responsible for. The more you do this, the easier it is for a habit to take hold.
-Give Them Praise
Children enjoy helping out, because it gives them a chance to feel involved with “grown-up stuff”. You can make this an even more positive experience by praising them for taking responsibility for specific actions. For instance, saying “I’m very proud of you for putting away your toys!” gives them appropriate and specific praise tied to something they’ve accomplished. This will foster a sense of ownership over their actions and an understanding of the value of a job well done.
-Manage Your Expectations
When you are teaching your child about responsibility, it is important to keep your expectations in check. When they’re just learning about how to do something, the quality of the work might not be at a high level. They might make their bed and it’s a little uneven, but that’s ok. Avoid criticizing them and instead show your gratitude for them trying. The next time you make your bed, invite your child to watch so they can learn your tricks to make it easier.
While rewarding good behavior is certainly ok in moderation, when you initially start teaching them about responsibility it is better to make completing something a reward in its own right. A rewards system can make them expect to be rewarded anytime they do something that is expected of them. This makes it more about what they get out of doing something instead of taking responsibility because it’s the right thing to do. Reserve rewards for activities that go above and beyond what is typically expected of them.
-Make it Structured
Kids get the most out of situations with structure and order, because it prevents things from from getting out of control. Setting up a morning and afternoon routine will give them a checklist of things they need to take care of every day. For example, a routine where they need to brush their teeth, eat breakfast, and get ready for school will give them a structure for their responsibilities. Whether you want to give it a specific order to make it easier or allow them to choose when they complete tasks, having them listed out can help give them direction. When you teach them about structure and routine, you can carry that over to their homework and other responsibilities they’ll take on as they get older.
-Teach Them Consequences
Every responsibility carries with it a consequence if it is not completed. Helping your child understand this will teach them exactly why they are doing specific things. Explain to your child that if they don’t brush their teeth when they’re supposed to, they’ll get a cavity. Another example is that the trash will overflow and stink if it isn’t taken out regularly. Teach them that even if there aren’t consequences in that direct way, there will be consequences in the form of being unable to do something they want to. Responsibilities need to come first before we can have fun. When you show them there are rules and what happens if they ignore their responsibilities, they will be more likely to follow through without too much pushing. This lesson carries more power when you avoid doing things for your child that they should be doing on their own. It not only shows them the consequences of not doing what is expected of them, it prevents them from feeling like they’re entitled to someone taking care of it for them.
Responsibility is one of the most valued and important traits a person can have, no matter how old they are. When you teach your child early about why it is important to take responsibility, they will grow up with a stronger work ethic and a pride in a job well done. For a great way to teach your child about being responsible for their health, bring them to Rebounderz Trampoline Park in Lansdale! It’s a fun way to stay healthy.