Smart Parenting 2017: Teaching Responsibility to Your Children
Whenever parents are asked about the traits they like their children to have at present and as adults, one of the most common responses is “to be responsible”. Being responsible have a lot of meanings and they are commonly associated with keeping one’s word, meeting one’s commitments, being dependable, acknowledging mistakes, doing something to one’s ability, being accountable for one’s behavior, and being an asset to one’s family, community, and society. Parents often confuse responsibility with obedience. Most parents would like their children to do what they ask their children to do, to follow instructions and to not question their authority. However, this is not at all responsibility, these are the qualities of obedience.
It it important for children to develop and exercise ownership for a particular task or chore, and they need to do it because it needs to be done, and eventually they accept that they are obliged to do it. Your children may even initiate performing a task over time with constant reminder and practice because it needs to be done and not because they are being told to do so, which is a good attitude of being responsible. Parents should know when to give up the things they like and their exact timetable, and allow their child to move from obedience to responsibility basing on their own pace. Allowing a child to freely do on his own way with certain degree of limitation will encourage a feeling of pride and accomplishment, fostering a sense of responsibility. When considering the transition from obedience to responsibility, there are issues raised about how involved you should be when helping your child meet his commitments and complete tasks.
There are many parents who do not want their children to suffer or fail, so they do so much for their children, and when this happens, they don’t learn to take responsibility by themselves. But there are also some situations wherein our children need our support and guidance for them to learn how to be responsible. It is essential to find the balance between under-parenting and over-managing by deciding the most critical and appropriate time to step in, and the time when it is best to let your child go so he can develop maturity and responsible behaviors. Joining extracurriculars, keeping a pet such as a butterfly koi, and giving them tasks are just some activities your children can do to develop their sense of responsibility. Being a parent is a lifelong responsibility, and we want to teach our children to be responsible for what they do, and their best role model is us.