View Screen-Reader Accessible Site


 

Parenting Tip
August 15, 2014
A Practical Way to Teach Responsibility

Some children have a hard time doing anything without getting distracted. One mom, Heather, said, "When I tell my five-year-old son, James, to go get his shoes on because we've got to leave, he doesn't come back. When I go look, I find him sitting on the floor playing with his cars. And it's not just his shoes. Whenever I tell him to do something he gets sidetracked. I have to yell at him continually to get anything done."

Heather needs to use her frustration to identify the cause of the problem. James is easily distracted, but the deeper issue has to do with irresponsibility. Yes, he is only five years old, but James needs to learn to follow through with a job his mom gives him. This is the beginning of responsibility training.

Most children don't naturally feel an internal weight of responsibility. You can help develop it by watching your kids accomplish assignments and waiting for them to report back. Heather may say, "James, we've got to go so please get your shoes and bring them back to me. I'm going to wait right here in the doorway for you to report back."

As you wait, watch for distraction. At first James may need very close monitoring but as he realizes that he needs to report back and that Mom hasn't forgotten about the job, he will feel the pressure to accomplish the task. Children who need constant reminders lack the character quality of responsibility. They need closer supervision, smaller tasks, and more frequent times of checking in.

Even older children sometimes have a problem with irresponsibility. Yelling isn't necessary—more accountability is. It takes more work to wait or watch, but your investment now will give your children a valuable gift. Responsibility is the ability to complete a task even when no one is watching.

Responsibility training happens in a good instruction process. In Matthew 25, Jesus told a parable about three stewards who were given talents and the responsibility to invest them. Two of the stewards were faithful; one was not. God wants us to be faithful stewards and the roots of faithfulness are taught to children as you teach them to follow directions and report back.

For more on how to build a good Instruction Routine with your children, read the book, Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

More Helpful Tips:
A Lesson in Honor
A Practical Way to Teach Responsibility
A Practical Way to Teach Values
A Time to Practice Saying Thank You
A Work in Progress
Addressing Sibling Conflict
Allow Life to Be the Teacher

An Indirect Approach to Sibling Conflict
Anger is Good
Be Firm Without Being Harsh
Building Relationship Makes Kids More Responsive
Caring for Others
Christmas: A Time to Teach Generosity
Communication is Key
Dealing with Morning Dawdling
Desire and Temptation
Don't be Deterred by Resistance
Don't Take the Bait
Emotional Cues
Ending Every Discipline Time Positively
Ending the Discipline Time Positively
Explain New Rules Before You Start
Getting Kids to Listen without Yelling
Giving Instructions
Helping Kids Deal with Emotions
Helping Children Take Responsibility - Part 2
Helping Children Take Responsibility – Part 1
Honesty Requires Character
Honor Defined in Practical Terms

Is there a Difference Between Honor and Respect?
Kids Love Heroes
Keep Connections Open
Look Out For Boasting
Missed Opportunities
Monitor Frustration Levels
Not Just Behavior Change
Obey First and Then We'll Talk About It
Parenting Babies
Patterns in Family Life
Practical Ways to Connect with Your Child’s Heart
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Retraining the Heart
Sad Instead of Mad
Should I Change My Mind?
Some Kids Drain Energy Out of Family Life

Stop Anger When it Starts
Strong-Willed Children are a Blessing
Tasks, Problems, Conflict

Teach Children What to Do Next Time
Teaching Children About Anger
Teaching Children to Look for Ways to Help
Teaching Children to Wait
Teaching Through Decision Making
Teaching "Why" Helps Children For the Future
Teens Need Relationship
“That’s Not Fair!”

The Benefit of Reporting Back
The Conscience Needs Training
The Gratefulness Principle
The Key to Making Devotions Fun
The Truth about Lying
Use Generosity to Teach Honor
When Children Resist Instructions
When Giving Instructions, Consider the Timing
When Kids Want to Fight

Where a Bad Attitude Comes From
Your Child has a Conscience


 

Parenting Tip
August 15, 2014
A Practical Way to Teach Responsibility

Some children have a hard time doing anything without getting distracted. One mom, Heather, said, "When I tell my five-year-old son, James, to go get his shoes on because we've got to leave, he doesn't come back. When I go look, I find him sitting on the floor playing with his cars. And it's not just his shoes. Whenever I tell him to do something he gets sidetracked. I have to yell at him continually to get anything done."

Heather needs to use her frustration to identify the cause of the problem. James is easily distracted, but the deeper issue has to do with irresponsibility. Yes, he is only five years old, but James needs to learn to follow through with a job his mom gives him. This is the beginning of responsibility training.

Most children don't naturally feel an internal weight of responsibility. You can help develop it by watching your kids accomplish assignments and waiting for them to report back. Heather may say, "James, we've got to go so please get your shoes and bring them back to me. I'm going to wait right here in the doorway for you to report back."

As you wait, watch for distraction. At first James may need very close monitoring but as he realizes that he needs to report back and that Mom hasn't forgotten about the job, he will feel the pressure to accomplish the task. Children who need constant reminders lack the character quality of responsibility. They need closer supervision, smaller tasks, and more frequent times of checking in.

Even older children sometimes have a problem with irresponsibility. Yelling isn't necessary—more accountability is. It takes more work to wait or watch, but your investment now will give your children a valuable gift. Responsibility is the ability to complete a task even when no one is watching.

Responsibility training happens in a good instruction process. In Matthew 25, Jesus told a parable about three stewards who were given talents and the responsibility to invest them. Two of the stewards were faithful; one was not. God wants us to be faithful stewards and the roots of faithfulness are taught to children as you teach them to follow directions and report back.

For more on how to build a good Instruction Routine with your children, read the book, Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

More Helpful Tips:
A Lesson in Honor
A Practical Way to Teach Responsibility
A Practical Way to Teach Values
A Time to Practice Saying Thank You
A Work in Progress
Addressing Sibling Conflict
Allow Life to Be the Teacher

An Indirect Approach to Sibling Conflict
Anger is Good
Be Firm Without Being Harsh
Building Relationship Makes Kids More Responsive
Caring for Others
Christmas: A Time to Teach Generosity
Communication is Key
Dealing with Morning Dawdling
Desire and Temptation
Don't be Deterred by Resistance
Don't Take the Bait
Emotional Cues
Ending Every Discipline Time Positively
Ending the Discipline Time Positively
Explain New Rules Before You Start
Getting Kids to Listen without Yelling
Giving Instructions
Helping Kids Deal with Emotions
Helping Children Take Responsibility - Part 2
Helping Children Take Responsibility – Part 1
Honesty Requires Character
Honor Defined in Practical Terms

Is there a Difference Between Honor and Respect?
Kids Love Heroes
Keep Connections Open
Look Out For Boasting
Missed Opportunities
Monitor Frustration Levels
Not Just Behavior Change
Obey First and Then We'll Talk About It
Parenting Babies
Patterns in Family Life
Practical Ways to Connect with Your Child’s Heart
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Retraining the Heart
Sad Instead of Mad
Should I Change My Mind?
Some Kids Drain Energy Out of Family Life

Stop Anger When it Starts
Strong-Willed Children are a Blessing
Tasks, Problems, Conflict

Teach Children What to Do Next Time
Teaching Children About Anger
Teaching Children to Look for Ways to Help
Teaching Children to Wait
Teaching Through Decision Making
Teaching "Why" Helps Children For the Future
Teens Need Relationship
“That’s Not Fair!”

The Benefit of Reporting Back
The Conscience Needs Training
The Gratefulness Principle
The Key to Making Devotions Fun
The Truth about Lying
Use Generosity to Teach Honor
When Children Resist Instructions
When Giving Instructions, Consider the Timing
When Kids Want to Fight

Where a Bad Attitude Comes From
Your Child has a Conscience