Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: Teaching Responsibility To Kids



How do we teach responsibility to our children? How do we as parents handle the pressures and many crises that occur on a daily basis in our lives? Do we lose our temper? Do we stomp around the house and yell? Do we lie? Do we make up excuses? Do we blame others? Hopefully we don't do any of these things, but rather try
to face our responsibilities bravely. Hopefully we try to live up to our commitments and promises. How we handle our own personal responsibilities is the way, good or bad that we teach our kids responsibility. Are you as a parent modeling a good example?

I believe most children begin learning responsibility as very young children when we ask then to put away their toys. As they get a little older we may ask them to help us bring out the garbage or take the dog for a walk or give him his water. These simple chores are the beginning of learning responsibility for young children. 
If we don't teach our children to help out and do their share they don't learn the roots of responsibility. I personally believe every family member should have certain chores which help out the family, even including the young children at home. This teaches kids both responsibility and family commitment. It allows them an
honest, fair way to earn part of their allowance. It helps them to feel they are doing their fair share and contributing to the good of the family. 

How about homework and parent's involvement in school projects? I think all parents should offer kids support for homework, but not do the homework for the child. I also think they should offer support for projects but let the child do the project themselves.  Again, kids are learning responsibility and consequences for their actions. If we always bail them out and do the homework for them or walk them through it completely, they will never learn to get organized and discipline themselves to reach their goals. Letting them work through their challenges teaches them to motivate themselves and accept their responsibilities. Then they are truly equipped for whatever life sends them and they will make it on their own.