All too often, parents struggle with instilling a sense of responsibility in kids and lament that their kids are dependent on them for everything. While its definitely easier said than done, here are some great tips to help and inspire your child to be more responsible:
- Discuss Consequences and Implications of Actions
Always encourage your child to think ahead about the implications of their words, decisions and actions on the world around them and at the world at large. Resist the urge to preach and spell it out for them, and use a more open-minded and genuinely curious approach. Eg. Asking ‘What will happen if you don’t throw the wrapper in the dry waste bin?’ (chain of consequences- not recycled-ends up in a landfill-global warming) is much better than yelling at them to do it. The Life-Skills Programme at DRSIS encourages students to develop skills like these.
- Encourage them to Plan Backwards
Whether its homework, creating a revision plan or planning a trip with friends, gentle nudge them into visualizing the final outcome for their goal and planning backwards accordingly. This is a great way to get them to think and plan for smaller goals and actions they need to work on a daily basis and realize their importance.
- Involve them in Decision Making
Like all human beings, children are not great fans of being told what to do. Involve children in decision making and seek out their thoughts and opinions on choices made as a family that affects them. This gives them greater ownership and involvement, and naturally inspires responsibility as they are now invested in the goal.
- Get a pet, a plant or any other ‘pet’ project!
Entrust you child with a long-term project like caring for a pet, a plant or even a sibling. This is a healthy way of instilling responsibility, ownership, initiative and empathy in your child and will work wonders on getting them to care about their actions.
There’s no magic pill that can inspire responsibility, but these tips will definitely go a long way in taking the first steps towards making your child more responsible!