As a parent, one of your life goals is to raise responsible children. But being a parent gets hectic sometimes. During these times, keeping your focus on what matters most may feel challenging. However, you can still ensure that your kids become adults who show integrity and responsibility.
Parenting is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. But the rewards are incredible when you see that you’ve raised responsible children. Embark on your own journey to collect as much knowledge about parenting as you can.
These techniques will help you raise your children to be responsible, caring adults:
1. Treat your little ones with the respect and care they so richly deserve. No matter how trying your children can be, remind yourself they’re works in progress and will make many missteps along the way. They’re just trying to figure out this thing we call, “life.”
- If you can consistently show tact, care and respect toward your children, you’ll see that doing so is like giving sunshine, water, and fertilizer to your garden.
2. Reinforce the positive. Offer praise and positive reinforcement to your children whenever they perform a task, skill, or job well. Everyone hopes that at some point, they’ll be noticed and recognized for doing something good.
- Children especially need to hear compliments and praise. Making statements like, “good job” or “wow, that was wonderful” while looking your child in the eye will help him learn the importance of performing a job well. In turn, your child will become responsible.
- Strive to be consistent in your efforts to reinforce your child’s desirable behaviors.
3. Let them learn natural consequences. Allow children to experience the natural consequences of their behavioral choices as long as those outcomes aren’t harmful. Rather than debating with a child, sometimes the parent has the luxury of sitting back and allowing a natural result to occur.
- Automatic consequences teach powerful lessons about the importance of follow-through and taking responsibility for one’s own behavior.
- For example, if your child doesn’t want to eat breakfast, they’ll experience the natural consequences of becoming hungry in an hour or two and will have to wait for lunch to eat. As a result, future episodes of skipping breakfast will most likely be reduced and a sense of taking responsibility for eating habits will be gained.
4. When teaching a child a new behavior, give clear, simple instructions. Make your expectations clear.
- Then, demonstrate what you’ve asked the child to do so they can see how the behavior is properly done.
- Next, allow your child to try the behavior.
- Praise all efforts, no matter how small.
- Avoid criticism or expecting perfection. Setting your standards overly high can “encourage” a child to be resistant to your requests in the future.
- Smile and be positive in your approach.
- Remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Stay close by when young children are learning and practicing new behaviors to offer guidance and build responsibility in your child.
5. Notice when your children perform tasks without your asking. Give recognition, or even a reward, for these times.
- Allow your child to take ownership of his or her own behavior.
- Send the message that, “Now that you’ve gotten your job done, it’s time to have some fun!” Saying, “You did such a good job sweeping the kitchen, I think we should go get some ice cream,” conveys that when you’re responsible, good things follow.
6. Avoid getting your children “off the hook” if they’ve misbehaved at school. You may want to take the fall to protect your kids, but doing so prevents them from learning the consequences of their actions.
- At those times, also refrain from showing anger and disappointment. Instead, provide encouraging words about their completing whatever consequence the school issues. Mention that you have confidence they’ll get through the whole situation and go on to have a great school year.
Experiencing the joys of parenting contributes to an incredibly rich life. But raising responsible children requires effort and consistency. Infuse these suggestions into your master parenting plan, and you’ll be on your way toward raising your children to be responsible, caring adults.