Developing the Character of Responsibility
In our adult experience, we undoubtedly know of acquaintances, friends and family who epitomize the essence of responsibility…and those who definitely do not. Part of our role as parents is to help our children become responsible members of our family, responsible students in school and evolve into responsible citizens in our society. It is a tough job…and in order to help our kids learn these skills and demonstrate this character, it is important to reflect on what it really means to be responsible. We would probably agree that we all want our children to learn to do their best, persevere even when it is difficult to keep trying, be self-disciplined and accountable for their actions even when it is hard to admit mistakes. We want them to understand the importance of keeping their word and being dependable. We want to help our children take pride in our environment and feel a need to contribute to the betterment of our world. Importantly, teaching our children to be morally aware, making decisions which are right, just and true to our Christian values, all contribute to helping them become a responsible individual.
The job of teaching these attributes to our children is a lifelong task but one which can start very early in their lives. There are several steps we can institute within our families to help instill responsibility for our children. Undoubtedly you have already developed ways to do this but perhaps you can get some additional insight from the following suggestions:
Learning to be responsible is a process and a challenge for us all, young and not so young. Our children learn a lot from our example and, as we demonstrate to them that they can count on us, that we will follow through on what we say we will do… and that we will be honest and forthcoming if we can’t…they will follow our lead and our lessons to become the trustworthy and responsible people we hope them to be. If we can be patient and let them learn from their mistakes, we will see that their sense of responsibility will be present in their actions, in their moral strength and as they accept personal accountability for the decisions they make.