All parents want to see their children grow up into responsible individuals. No one sets out to do otherwise but as you well know, kids don’t come with guidebooks. It’s easy to see why most parents can feel like they need a little help now and then. Teaching responsibility is one of the most important things you will ever do as a parent because this is something your child will carry with him for the rest of his life.

In order to instill a sense of responsibility in your child, it’s important to start at an early age. The sooner your child learns responsible behavior, the more likely it will be to just come naturally to them.  

Here are 3 simple ways to teach children responsibility:

Encourage Your Children to Help You

One of the reasons some kids don’t learn to be responsible is because their parents do everything for them. This prevents children from learning the basic skills it takes to complete chores. Instead of folding the laundry, putting the groceries away on your own, or feeding the dog, encourage your child to help you. Not only will it teach them how these household chores are done, but they will also learn about teamwork.  

Give Your Child an Allowance

Rewarding your child for their behavior may seem counterproductive, but it actually teaches them that there are consequences to not doing their chores. It teaches them that things aren’t just handed to them and that they need to work for them. The key is to make sure that you don’t bend the rules. If your child has not completed their chores, they should not receive their allowance. Rather than requiring them to do all of their chores in order to earn an allowance, why not break it down? Put a dollar amount on each chore. Your child will be able to grasp the idea that you only get paid for the number of hours you work.

In addition, you will also want to consider teaching your child how to budget their allowance money. Instead of letting them spend it without thinking about it, encourage them to save their allowance for the big ticket items that they’ve been begging for. Help them come up with a long-term plan to figure out how long it will take to meet their goal. This will prepare your child for when it comes time for them to buy a car or home of their own.

Be a Positive Role Model

Remember that children tend to mimic what they see. This means that if you want your child to learn responsibility, you will need to be responsible yourself. This applies to every aspect of life. Your children should see that you stick to a routine, such as being on time when you pick them up from school, setting aside time for your own “homework” (e.g. balancing your checkbook), and doing your own household chores. They should also see that you make time for important events, such as parent-teachers conferences or their soccer games or chorus concerts. You will also want your children to see that you are being responsible about your health, such as going to doctor’s appointments, making time for exercise, and following a well-balanced diet.

These are just 3 simple ways to teach your children responsibility! Although it may seem challenging to encourage your children to learn to be responsible, it can be done with persistence.  Do you have any tips that you would add to this list?