Responsibility is defined as the ability to assume obligations of each age and situation, fulfill the commitments assumed and assume the consequences of their own actions.
To become responsible adults , you must first learn to be responsible children. Responsibility is a characteristic that is learned and therefore, agents are needed to guide and support this learning: both parents and educators. Responsibility is one of the most important challenges of parenthood, since it begins with small habits at home , acts that if properly reinforced will be maintained and will generate a personal commitment in the child to act responsibly throughout his life. Therefore, parents must be a good example of responsibility for children: they must be consistent with what they promise to do.
The responsibility must be addressed long before they start the real problems of lack of commitments, lack of cooperation from the child in household tasks, truancy or noncompliance with homework .
PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE ARE KEY TO TEACHING THEM
First of all, it is essential to convey to the child the message that he is not a bad child for being irresponsible , but that it is a learned skill, he will be helped in that process, he will always be supported and loved unconditionally. And although it is often taken for granted, the child needs to listen to it.
MORE RESPONSIBLE CHILDREN: HOW DO WE DO IT?
Here are some recommendations to encourage the development of a sense of responsibility in young children:
– It is important to establish rules at home
It is not about being “Miss Rottenmeier”, but basic rules of coexistence are necessary that the child must know and will respect as their cognitive capacity allows.
– It is important to start with simple tasks
First we will work on this skill with actions that do not require a lot of cognitive effort, since it will not cost the child much to perform them and it would be ideal if we can choose those that motivate or like them the most. These tasks will be automated and we will be able to incorporate more complex tasks little by little (for example, ask the child to take care of picking up the toy with which he has been playing every day. When this is done without the need to remind him, we can add another task). Match the tasks to the child’s age and ability.
– Make it clear to the child (in understandable language) what is expected of him
Spend the time you need and that the child needs to this conversation. In addition to communicating your expectations, accompany it with a message of confidence: “I know that you can and I will help you.”
– Be patient
Explain to the child the tasks step by step and as many times as necessary until you make sure they know what to do. If you consider it necessary, serve as an example and carry out the action while you explain it verbally.
– We must never perform a task whose responsibility is the child’s
That is, if it is explained to him that his responsibility is to collect his room every day, we should not do it for him. The child must be clear that it is he who must do it and if he does not do it, he is breaking his word and no one will do it for him. In this sense, the child must know that if he does not comply with what he has promised, he will have consequences.
– Teach him to face day-to-day difficulties , to know the value of little things and effort.
– It is important to make him see that every effort has its reward
Although this reward is long term. Being responsible will make you a better person and improve your social, family, school and work performance. The child can be shown what he can achieve with responsible behavior through examples.
– Send motivational messages
For example: “I am very happy because you have done such a thing”, “you have tried very hard”, “yesterday you did it and I am sure you can do it today”, etc. It is important to give the child security and confidence, this will motivate him to be responsible and strengthen his self-esteem.
– Organization is important
When the child is responsible for several tasks, one way to generate commitment and memory is to develop (together with the child) a large and colorful calendar / organizer that we can place in a strategic place in the house (easily visible by the child). Every time you complete a task, we will give you a smiley face or a “Correct Tick”. It is a very useful technique for children.
– Helps the child in making decisions
Let it start with simple decisions such as choosing a garment according to the temperature that day and progressively involve it in family decisions (what to eat for dinner, where to go on vacation, etc.)
– Teach them to fend for themselves
And also to face new situations. Once they develop self-confidence, they begin to be responsible.
– Make yourself available
The child has to feel that if he needs help or support at some point, he will have someone to turn to and that he will not be scolded for it.
– Teach him to learn from mistakes
It is important that the child learns to accept mistakes and that he learns that learning can be extracted from any mistake, such as finding ways not to make it again.
– Give the child the opportunity to negotiate and choose
Try not to impose but to make him see why it is important for him to perform a certain task. If the child still does not give in, negotiate some nuances or details. Those responsibilities will be more yours, more legitimate, less alien, less imposed.
– Do not overprotect the child
What you will get like this are children with little autonomy, little responsibility, very dependent and with a lack of self-confidence. Don’t be excessively permissive either, the child needs certain rules. A democratic educational style is the optimal style to achieve responsible children.