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1) Assign some accountability – Age-appropriate chores are a simple way to teach your child responsibility. Add in a little financial incentive and your children will begin learning how to manage finances, too.
2) Let your child make decisions – Letting your child make some of their own choices will teach your child accountability and help them to gain independence. Younger children should be offered limited options, but give children the chance to choose from them.
3) Foster independence – The only way to master any skill is through practice. By letting them tackle age-appropriate tasks, like getting themself dressed, your child will also become more self-reliant.
4) Set a good example – Taking your own responsibilities seriously sets a good example for your child’s watchful eyes. “Whether we promote it or not, children always learn by example”, says Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Keeping your promises or being on time are ways you can lead by example.
5) Pick up a book – Stories pack a lot of punch, so when it comes to reading time, select books that illustrate responsibility. Interesting characters and situations your child can identify with will hold their attention. Even better, your child won’t tune you out because they aren’t being lectured!
6) Talk your child through difficult situations – Although your first instinct is to direct and protect your adolescent, instead of automatically telling them what they should do, guide your child through the process of coming to a conclusion on their own. Ask questions and encourage them to think it through with your support.
7) Show them the bigger picture – The ultimate goal is for your sweetheart act responsibly because they want to, not just because they’re told to. Explaining to your child how doing their part is helping the family as a whole can sometimes help young children understand how their actions affect others.