Tips to Help Teach Responsibility

The most effective way of teaching children responsibility is to start them off at an early age. This can be done gradually through small changes in their routine that will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment. As your children demonstrates their newfound responsibility, they will want to continue to receive positive feedback, and in time they will have learned how to be responsible.

Provide Tasks

Chores are an excellent way to teach your children responsibility, as well as take some of the load off of you as a parent. It’s necessary to ensure that the chores are age appropriate, and as your children get older, they can be given tasks of increasing difficulty. The tasks should also vary from day to day or week to week to give your children different sets of skills, and provide some fairness.

By accomplishing their assigned tasks, children learn self-satisfaction, confidence and discipline and these all help teach responsibility. Don’t feel bad if you need to remind your children that they have chores to do; responsibility won’t come over night, and it will probably be necessary to give your kids a little push into the unknown.

Attention for Others

Another great tool to teach your children responsibility that they will enjoy is to get them a pet or a plant. These are living things that require care in order to stay alive, and by entrusting them to your children, they become responsible for ensuring this. Your only responsibility is to provide the supplies (food, etc) and your children are responsible for administering their pet or plant’s needs.  

As your child gets older, they will be able to tackle more difficult assignments with a greater responsibility.

Note: If you have a young child, you may want to start with a smaller pet like a goldfish or stick with a plant. If your child show’s responsibility with something small, work them up to a larger pet!


Make your children take responsibility for their actions. If they don’t feel like doing their homework or they constantly lose things, don’t help them. Teach them that there are consequences for what they do, and if they lose things, make them pay for them on their own. If they don’t do their homework, they will find out that there are consequences to slacking off.

Other ideas that will teach responsibility:

  • Give your children an allowance so that they can be responsible for their own money and learn the joy of saving responsibly for things that they would like.
  • Talk about responsibility and ask questions. Offer your children opportunities to problem solve where there will be noticeable consequences and a contrast between good and bad.

As always, remember that one of the key ways to teach your children responsibility is to model it yourself.  Your children are always watching and learning from you, and if you act with responsibility, they will see this and naturally emulate it.

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