A parent’s ability to raise responsible children may be their most significant contribution towards humanity. Parenting entails more than providing food, shelter, and clothing. While these are important for a child’s survival and proper development, every parent should strive to instil values that will make their child an asset rather than a liability to the society. This world would be safer and happier if we all purposed to raise children who will contribute positively to the society. Responsible children translate to responsible adults.
The world today is full of individuals who can’t keep a job, a marriage or stay in school. Others are so self- centred that they will do anything to fulfil their desires, without considering how their actions affect others.
The home is the first institution that an individual interacts with. Most values are taught within the home by the parents and caregivers. How can we take advantage of these interactions to raise responsible children?
Don’t wait until your children are teenagers to start teaching them necessary self-care skills and other responsibilities around the home. Start out as early as when they are two or three years old. Let them join you as you dust and mop around the house. Gradually give age-appropriate tasks.
A three-year-old can match socks and organize innerwear in a drawer. Their love for playing with water can be utilized creatively by allowing them to water the garden. Older children can brush and arrange their shoes, feed animals and pets. You will be doing a disfavor to your kids if you do everything for them.
Let your children know that they are entirely responsible for the tasks assigned to them. Emphasise the importance of keeping their word. Ensure that what they say tallies with what they mean. This will make them reliable individuals who can be entrusted with important matters.
Fight the desire to step in and do what they were supposed to do, unless they are unwell or held up in an unavoidable situation.
Allow them to see the consequences of not keeping their end of the bargain. For example, serve dinner late because they failed to do dishes, let them wear dirty clothes because they did not do their laundry.
Can you imagine how profitable your business would be if all your employees did what they were supposed to do without giving flimsy excuses? Let your children see how important their role is to the smooth running of the home.
Provide Routines and Structure
Children thrive in structured environments where routines are followed. Learning how to stick to set schedules and abide by the rules will help them fit better in schools and the job market.
If you do not define sleeping and waking up time, it will be challenging for your child to fit in a school set up where school begins and ends at set times. They will get late for lessons, sleep in class, and this will translate into other problems that will make your kid hate school.
Woe unto you if they can’t report to work on time or meet strict deadlines. They will be fired and will rely on you for financial support longer than they should.
Children are egocentric in nature. To raise responsible children means that you will have to teach them to consider the welfare of others. This may begin by encouraging them to share spaces, toys, and snacks.
If ego-centrism persists into adulthood, your child will have difficulties forming healthy relationships. Let them understand that altruism may demand a risk or a cost on their side.
Do not preach water and take wine. Modelling is an essential tool in parenting. Let your words match your actions. Children learn best through observation. Be an accountable, reliable, person. Work hard and let them see how your diligence affects their lives.
Earn your daily bread through just means. Be kind, considerate, and compassionate towards others. Your pre-teen son or daughter will question you when you do the opposite of what you are telling him to do.
Though parenting is a lifelong responsibility, there are some values and principals that you must teach early. Ensure that your children do not leave home without the skills necessary to thrive in the world. Decide to raise responsible children.