One of the most important things we can teach our children is a sense of responsibility. But have you ever thought about exactly why this is so important? What does it mean to be responsible? And why is it so important? Let’s explore that idea.
For one thing, responsibility goes hand in hand with confidence and the feeling of being in control of one’s own life. When we are responsible, it means that we are capable of making rational or moral decisions on our own, and that we are ready to be answerable to others for our behavior. It means that we can be trusted and depended on – that our word to others, and to ourselves, is good and can be relied on. Being responsible means that we are fully matured adults.
Responsibility also suggests the ability to choose the way we respond to life’s events, rather than simply reacting by habit or reflex. With responsibility as a part of our personal philosophy, our attitude is then reflected outward in our behaviors toward friends and family, clients and customers, and anyone else in our community with whom we come in contact.
Feeling responsible is a very good feeling. As a matter of fact, it’s an essential feeling if we are truly going to live up to our potential, enjoy satisfying relationships with others, and live happy, fulfilling lives.
So how do we teach our kids to be responsible? Well, the surest way is by being responsible ourselves. Children mimic what they see and experience. It also helps to explain the benefits of responsibility to them, and to give them gradually increasing responsibilities as soon as they are old enough to handle them. Praise their efforts. Let them know that you see them as being responsible. Then, watch them grow into it.