The Key to Raising a Responsible Generation

A group of smiling children.

One of the primary goals of parents is to raise well-mannered and respectful children who treat others with kindness and consideration. (Image: Monkey Business Images via Dreamstime)

To some people, being responsible means being able to provide for their family and contribute positively to society; to others, it means being accountable for their behavior. 

Instilling a sense of responsibility in your children may seem like a tall order, but it’s worthwhile. Your children might also view this journey as a punishment, but they’ll appreciate the effort in the long run. 

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Remember, teaching responsibility to kids isn’t instantaneous. Instead, it’s a series of tasks that must be learned slowly and steadily by adding it to your child’s daily routine to form a habit.

Tips for raising responsible children

Give your children chores 

As a parent, you are responsible for letting your kids know they have tasks they need to complete each day. Children often lack focus, which sometimes means writing reminders for them — for instance, a reminder in the bathroom telling them to wash their hands. 

Raise your children to understand the importance of completing simple tasks each day and the consequences of not doing so, but avoid blaming your children for not completing a task you haven’t taught them. Instead, correct them with love, letting them know the importance of doing that particular task.

Giving your children chores is one way to help teach them to be responsible.
Giving your children chores is one way to help teach them to be responsible. (Image: Monkey Business Images via Dreamstime)

Simple tasks such as wiping the table, picking garbage up from the floor, and putting their toys away after playing will prepare them to take on bigger responsibilities later in life.

Be a role model

One of the most significant ways to teach your children to be responsible is by being responsible yourself. Learn to complete tasks yourself before asking your children to do the same. Kids watch what their parents or other grown-ups do and try to emulate them. 

For instance, you can clean up after dinner and then let your children know the importance of clearing the table or cleaning the utensils after dinner. 

If you’re irresponsible, your children are also likely to be reckless. Therefore “be the change you want to see.”

Applaud your children

Just like adults, children also love to be recognized for an accomplished task. They also feel proud when complimented after achieving something or completing a chore. 

Showing your children that you’re proud of their actions makes them feel good about themselves, which boosts their self-esteem. 

Compliments make your children want to complete more tasks because they feel appreciated.

Encourage the ‘DIY’ approach

Always motivate your children to complete tasks on their own. It is essential to understand your child’s abilities and encourage them to complete tasks that match their abilities.

In the process, you can step in as a parent or guardian to help or show exactly how things are done, but let your child finish the assigned task themselves.

Show them exactly how things are to be done, but let them finish the assigned task themselves.
Show them exactly how things are to be done, but let your child finish the assigned task themselves. (Image: Photographerlondon via Dreamstime)

Inspire your children to stick to a routine

Making a routine and repeating it will instill a sense of responsibility in your children. Kids may not want to take up chores, so it’s up to you to ensure that your children stick to the set routine. 

You can start by helping your children master simple routines, such as going to bed on time, waking themselves up, and clearing the table after breakfast. 

With time, they can master more complex duties, like personal grooming, laundry, cleaning up after they make a mess, or doing the dishes. 

Repetition of similar chores helps them remember and master the routine, which eventually becomes easy and simple. 

Set limits

Not setting limits for your children may lead to overindulgence, leading to irresponsibility. 

Experience shows that overindulgent (spoiled) kids don’t want to be held accountable for their mistakes. They are often ungrateful and may expect things to be done for them.

A parent’s role is to set limits and let their children know they will be held accountable for their mistakes. Also, teach your children gratitude and let them learn to appreciate whatever little is given to them.

Raising responsible children is a slow process. To instill a sense of responsibility in your children, you must show them that your love is unconditional. 

Show them love, patience, and understanding. Showing a child appreciation will enable them to be more open and express themselves freely to you. Finally, listen to their opinions and be willing to compromise.

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