“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” ~Denis Waitley
There is so much essence and truth in the above quote. Lets talk about responsibility (and independence is another blog topic in it own). Think about it. We all want to live in a world where people are raised responsibly and there is nothing wrong about it. Lets begin with ourselves and our own children by helping them grow into responsible beings.
So how do we raise our children to take responsibility for their deeds and actions?
You start by encouraging him to take responsibilities one step at a time. It is about increasing your child’s capacity to take control and feel good about it rather than focusing on getting a list of tasks completed. Taking responsibility shoots your child’s Self Confidence.
1. Start young – It is never too early to teach responsibility. You cannot dump responsibilities on your kid and expect him/her to understand what that even means, let alone handling it like a pro. Start off with encouraging your toddler to keep back his toys after he is done playing.
2. Start now – If you haven’t started teaching your child some responsibility and he is in his teen already, start NOW. Like it is never too early to teach responsibility, it is never too late too. Sooner the better but it is always better late than never.
3. Your’s v/s your child’s perspective – Its crucial to understand that the word ‘responsibility’ means different to you and your child. Keeping his room clean is definitely a top priority to you but may not be the same for your teenager. Understanding the difference in perspectives and settling on a common ground helps big time to bridge the gap.
4. Set expectations – Let you children know very clearly what you expect from them. Be very specific. Clarity leads to power. Instead of saying “clean up the mess” clarify as to how it needs to be done. A better sentence would be “Arrange the books back in the shelf and put the toys back in the box.” Keeping a list of chores helps in accountability. Remember it is not that he who has the longest list wins the title of ‘Most Responsible’. Its not about the number but about getting the work done. Even if it is just two in the list.
5. Trust and Respect his/her individuality – These two words ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ are probably the most important words that a parent should keep in mind when it comes to their children. Only when you believe in them and their capabilities can your child feel protected and loved. Treat your children like like the way you want to be treated. Yelling is the shortcut to losing respect.