As parents we have a lot of things to teach our kids. We teach them how to love, we teach them how to share, we teach them to be kind, but one thing that is particularly important to teach is responsibility.
This particular lesson is an ongoing one. One that never truly ends. This lesson can determine how your child behaves and turns out as an adult. That’s a lot of pressure I just dropped on you huh!? Lol.
So how do we teach responsibility?
Well, I’ve put together a list. Take a peek.
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1. By giving a child chores.
This one is great because it can be implemented at almost any age. Once your child is old enough to understand directions, you can start giving them chores. If your child is a toddler, a good chore to start off with is putting their toys away. This shows and teaches them that they are responsible for keeping their play area clean. As children get older, more difficult chores can be given; such as sweeping the floor, setting the table, taking the trash out, washing the dishes,etc. Giving a child chores not only teaches responsibility, but prepares them for life on their own.
2. Paying them for doing jobs/chores.
Now I’m all for kids doing a set list of chores just because they are supposed to, but I also think that it’s good for them to do chores or some kind of small job and receive payment for it. This mimics the real workplace and teaches them that when we work, we are compensated for it. It also opens up the door to teach about saving money.
If your kids are old enough, encourage them to get a job, even if it is just a part-time one. Nothing gives you a taste of the real world quite like earning your own money and having to budget it out. I’ll never forget my first job. I was 15 and it was at Winn-Dixie. Can I just confide in yall and say that I hated it! I was a cashier and had to deal with impatient customers, the cash register not always working and two of my managers were just downright MEAN! I never knew that people could be so mean before that; but I learned that sometimes you have to not react to the actions of others and just do your job so that you can actually keep your job. It also taught me that I had to budget my money.
Once I got a job, it was my responsibility to purchase the extra things that I wanted. If it cost too much, then I had to save up for it. It definitely taught me that cashiers didn’t make a whole lot of money, and that I’d better figure out a new career path if I wanted to make a decent living.
Giving kids the opportunity to earn their own money and be accountable for being somewhere at a certain time daily and interacting with other people who may not always be nice or fair is their first step towards what adulthood is. It teaches them to have a good ethic.
3. Teach them about handling money.
I remember being a little girl doing my chores(dusting all the furniture down with Pine-Sol!) and earning my few dollars in allowance a week. I also had a 101 Dalmatians piggy bank that I would keep all my change in. Sometimes when my Grandma and I would go to the store I would see something that I wanted(who am I kidding, this was ALL the time lol) and sometimes my Grandma would buy it for me, but most of the time she would say “Shannon, if you want that toy you’re going to have to save your money up and get it yourself. Then when I got home she would help me count my money up and decide what I wanted to save and what I wanted to spend. We would write down how much the toy was, how much I already had, and how much I needed. We would figure out how long it would take me to get it and if it was worth spending my hard-earned Pine-Sol scrubbing money 🙂
This lesson taught me to be responsible with my money because if I blew it all on candy or something silly, then I never would have money later for the bigger things I really wanted. This was one of the most important lessons of my childhood, because it taught me to be responsible with my money and be able to budget.
4. Get a family pet.
Ok, so I know this may not apply to everyone, since everyone isn’t a pet person. BUT if you are, getting your kids a pet is an awesome way to teach them responsibility. Pets are A LOT of work and kids are more likely to step up and help because they are head over heels in love with the pet. Most pets require being fed, watered, bathed and walked(if you have a dog.) Dogs need to be walked multiple times a day and this can be a lot of work. Teaching your children that the pet is dependent on them to care for them teaches the child accountability and will give them a sense of responsibility to the pet. They will want to feed them and wash them and protect them because they love them.
5. Let them babysit.
Whether it be their siblings or the neighbors kids, letting your kids babysit is a sure- fire way to teach them responsibility. When I was a kid I watched my younger brother and sister all the time. My Mom worked a lot of long shifts because she was a RN and I was like a mini-Mom to them. I can honestly say that NOTHING taught me responsibility like caring for my brother and sister. Cooking for them, bathing them, doing homework with them, making sure they didn’t get into anything that could harm them; it was all a serious lesson on being responsible. It also taught me how to one day be a Mom! Knowing that kids looked up to me and depended on me was the best feeling in the world. When your kids are old enough, let them babysit their siblings or if they don’t have siblings, let them watch the neighbors kids or a friend’s kids. You won’t regret it.
What methods do yall use to teach your kids responsibility? I’m always up for learning something new to use! We gotta get creative these days Mamas!