Most parents understand the importance of instilling a sense of responsibility in their child, but don’t have an idea of how to do it. Here’s how you can teach your child to be responsible.
By Arun Sharma
It was time for his favourite TV show and Hari rushed with a glass of milk in hand to switch on the TV. In the process, he spilled some on the floor. But, without paying any attention to the mess he had created, he switched on the TV and started enjoying his show.
Radha, his mother, was watching all this. She raised her voice and told him, “Hari, take the mop and clean the milk you spilled on the floor.”
“But, mama, it’s the job of the housemaid to clean the house. Ask her to do it,” Hari nonchalantly replied.
There was still time for the maid to arrive. For a moment, Radha looked in frustration at her little one. Then, without saying a word, she picked up the mop and started cleaning the mess herself.
Incidents like this are a common sight in a lot of families. As a parent, why do you think Hari acted in such an irresponsible manner? Do you think what Radha did was right? Do you think you are doing the right things to ensure that your child does not act like Hari?
Having pondered on these questions, let’s try and understand what makes children shun responsibility. Also, let us explore ways of inculcating responsibility in them, or turning the ship around, as in the case of Hari.
The Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries defines responsibility as “a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something.” According to the extract of the article, ‘Personal Responsibility’, written by P. Alex Linley and John Maltby and published in The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology (2009), “Personal responsibility is concerned with people taking individual accountability for their decisions and actions, together with the outcomes they create and their impacts on others.”
When it comes to children, a sense of responsibility would include exhibiting the following qualities:
Human babies are born helpless and depend on parents or caregivers for survival. But, as they grow up, babies gradually begin learning various life skills under the loving and watchful eyes of their parents.
However, some parents go overboard with their love and affection. They try to do everything for their child instead of teaching her age-appropriate life skills like grooming herself, taking care of her belongings, and doing simple chores. This deprives the child of a chance to gain experience, and learn and contribute in a constructive manner, which, in turn, prevents her from learning to be responsible.
Also, children are born without a sense of responsibility. As a result, they only want to do things that seem exciting, and do them whenever they feel like they want to. Chores like clearing the plate, packing the bag, and making the bed seem boring and unpleasant to children. And, they try to come up with excuses to avoid doing them. In such situations, parents need to motivate and encourage children to get on with what they are supposed to do. Failing to encourage or motivate children to learn and do age-appropriate tasks on their own can turn them into irresponsible individuals.
It takes a great deal of patience and effort to inculcate good values in a child. However, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility at hand, take one step at a time, and you will find that all of them have added up to make a huge difference.
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