Some of the most challenging lessons a parent must teach his or her child have to do with responsibility. There are times in life when doing an activity may or may not be the most appealing goings-on, but it must be completed because a commitment has been made. Teaching your child to be responsible and being true to his or her word will help your child develop a stronger moral character not only as a child, but also as an adult.
There will be some commitments, such extra-curricular activities, which will be very appealing to your children. These obligations tend to begin at an easy and slow pace. Coaches, teachers and instructors know attention spans of younger children tend to wane, and they take this into account when they plan practices or rehearsals. As children progress in their activity, it may become more rigorous and difficult.
It is important to encourage your children to keep giving their best at their extra-curricular events and emphasize that one day they will reap the rewards of such hard work. Remaining committed to a team or activity may not always be fun for your child, but in the long run it will be rewarding for them to see an activity to the end.
Chores are less entertaining responsibilities that have an important place in childhood development. You should assign your child chores he or she can accomplish according to his or her age. These chores can range from picking up toys in the living room to clearing the table after dinner. Chores give children a chance to feel proud they accomplished something in order to help the family run a little bit smoother. As a parent, emphasizing the importance of the chore is necessary, but so is praising the child after the chore has been completed successfully.
Responsibility can be a difficult matter, not only for children, but also for adults. There, of course, will be moments when a certain responsibility falls to the wayside due to unforeseen circumstances, but most commitments should be seen through to the end in order to create well-rounded honorable character in a child. The best way to teach responsibility is to be a responsible parent and complete obligations for your children to see.
Susan Matherly is director at A Children’s Place, a service of Ephraim McDowell Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and a master’s degree in public health education. She can be contacted at (859) 236-7176.