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Parenting Tips ~ 3 Responsibilities to Teach Your Kids

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Do your kids play before chores? Do they ignore their duties? If you find yourself picking up after your children, look inside for 3 parenting tips that teach them responsibility.

Whether your children are boys or girls, someday they will grow up. What you model will influence their behavior. What you teach will influence their behavior too. Here is what one teacher found out about her student's parents:

Childhood Wisdom:

The teacher told her class about the importance of doing chores at home and at school. When she was done, a little boy piped up, "My parents each have 2 jobs. My dad makes the money. My mom spends it. My dad leaves messes around the house. My mom cleans them up."

If you're modeling this behavior at home and feel frustrated, talk with your spouse. Make a mutual plan and teach your children what you want to model:

3 Responsibilities:

If you take it, you return it.
If you break it, you replace it.
If it rings, answer it.

First Responsibility ~ If You Take It, You Return It:

Have you ever searched for the scotch tape and found it in your daughter's room? Even if she did a great job on her art project, teach her to return the tape to its proper place. Before she plays, tell her to return it. She won't like taking the extra steps or the extra time. She's not supposed to like it. If she knows you will keep telling her to return things, one day she will without your asking. It will become a habit and a part of her character.

Second Responsibility ~ If You Break It, You Replace It:

Have you ever felt something crunch under your shoe, look down, and find bits of the sugar bowl? You look in the garbage and see the rest of the pieces. Whether it's a drinking glass, sugar bowl, or something else, it needs to be replaced by the one who broke it. Once you find out who broke it, you require that person to replace it. If your child tells you about it first, don't scold. Just say, "You are worth more than a zillion sugar bowls and you need to replace it." Your child can pay for a new one out of her allowance or do extra work around the home to pay for it." This is an easy way to teach responsibility and character.

Third Responsibility ~ If It Rings, Answer It:

Remember the last time the telephone rang and you were too busy to answer it? Were the children playing video games or watching TV? Did you drop everything to answer it? Whether it's the telephone or the doorbell, teach your children to answer it. Many times the phone and the doorbell are for them anyway. Sit down and talk with them. Perhaps your children could take turns answering both.

Responsibility Conclusion:

When you and your spouse model responsibilities at home, you'll both be influencing in your kids now and in the future. Teaching your children to be responsible will make your house a home filled with peace and joy. You'll be building character too.


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Jean Tracy, MSS publishers a free parenting newsletter. Boost your skills and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids. Available exclusively at www.KidsDiscuss.com

If you need help with Parent Affirmations, Character Building Charts, Family Meetings, Parenting Skills, Family Chores or a good discussion book for building character in your child, check out our Parenting Resources We created them for wonderful parents like you.

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