Being dependable, honoring commitments, keeping promises, accepting your strengths and struggles, and accepting natural and logical consequences – these are the habits that make us responsible people. When we are able to use our abilities to respond to the challenges in life, we take control with confidence. I think that when we tell our children to be the best version of themselves, we encourage response-ability.
I applaud the parents who encouraged their children to participate in the local production of Fiddler On The Roof. They provided an opportunity to have the children prove to themselves that they truly have the ability to respond to the challenges and opportunities that life avails. This event may become a highlight of their year! Thank you for the encouragement you gave me to be and become a more encouraging parent. Helping our children to understand the they do have ability to respond to so many aspects of their young life is truly capacity building and a powerful enabling of personal efficacy.
Here are 5 responsibility building tips from a mother of eight children:
- Model it: do your best to be on time, clean up after yourself, do what you say and say what you do.
- Assign it gradually: scaffold age appropriate chores and activities within your family.
- Let them observe what happens if someone isn’t responsible: strategically stop doing something that they expect you to do just so that they can experience how responsible adults usually are.
- Play the scenario game: write 10-20 typical scenarios regarding opportunities to be responsible
- No bail-outs: let your child face the natural and logical consequences of irresponsible behavior.
We can also practice responsibility the AACA way:
“If you mess up, ‘fess up.” – Author Unknown
“Never point a finger where you never lent a hand.” – Robert Brault
“Quit making excuses. Putting it off. Complaining about it. Dreaming about it. Whining about it. Crying about it. Believing you can’t. Worrying if you can. Waiting until you are older. Make a plan & just do it.” – Nike