Character strengths and values a child learns are the critical skills that teach children about life and how to navigate it. One such character strength is responsibility. Responsibility is being accountable for one’s actions and to know and follow the rules. Responsible citizens treat others fairly, are trustworthy, honour their commitments and are environmentally aware.
Responsibility infuses itself into all aspects of our lives. Responsibility, when inculcated in children, teaches them to take responsibility for their actions. It teaches them to care for everything that belongs to them and those that belong to others. Highly responsible people volunteer to work for the common good. They take charge of any situation that requires taking charge of. They usually look for opportunities for what they can do for their community.
How do we teach children responsibility?
Children learn through modelling. The best way to teach responsibility to children is to practice it ourselves.
Start teaching responsibility at a young age. The older the children get, the harder it is for them to learn it.
Invite children to help you in housework. Even if it takes longer for them to finish a task, but they will learn about teamwork and a valuable life lesson.
Teach children to respect other people’s opinions and items.
Encourage them to show positive character even when no one is watching.
Teach them to own up mistakes and avoid making excuses for their actions.
Encourage them to do what needs to be done without having to be reminded.
Look for opportunities for them to be involved in community work.
Assign children chores and encourage them to get those done.
Encourage children to clean up their own mess. Learning to take care of their things helps children to develop a sense of responsibility for their action.
Teaching children about responsibility is not easy. It can take years and lots of practice, but by trying, we stand a better chance of raising a responsible future adult.
Being responsible is an enormous privilege, it is what marks anyone a fully grown human – Barack Obama.