Teaching Kids About Responsibility


Your kids start to learn responsibility at home. From owning a pet to doing chores, there are plenty of opportunities to teach your kids valuable life lessons. Here are three ways to teach your children to be more responsible:

Get a Pet

Pet ownership is a great way to teach responsibility to kids. Pet ownership can help your child learn patience, build up their self-esteem, and develop trust, compassion and respect. According to Healthy Pets, a survey of children ages three to 14 found that 85 percent of kids view their pets as friends and 40 percent turn to their pets when they’re upset. Children can benefit a lot from owning or even from just spending time with animals. Plus, kids can learn valuable nurturing skills by caring for a family pet.

If you think adding a new member to the family is a good idea, think small. Although your children might want a new puppy, a dog might not be the best fit for your family. Choosing a pet depends on the age of your child and the interests and hobbies of your family. Healthy Pets strongly advises that children under the age of four should always be monitored around pets and notes that children under the age of 10 should not be expected to care for a pet on their own. Families with older kids should have a serious talk with their children about pet ownership, including the responsibilities and permanency, before adding a pet to the family.

Switch From Glasses to Contacts

Kids who switch from glasses to contacts feel significantly better about their appearance and 71 percent prefer wearing contacts over glasses, reports a recent survey from All About Vision. If your child has expressed interest in contacts, take a look at how they handle other responsibilities. If your child has a difficult time following good hygiene practices and keeping their room clean, he or she might not be ready for the responsibilities that come with wearing and caring for contacts. Typically, though, children who are highly motivated to wear contacts tend to accept the hygienic responsibilities associated with this switch. If your child is ready, visit VisionDirect.com to take a look at the latest contact lens technology. You can even order contact lenses, like Air Optix lenses, for your child directly from the website and have them delivered to your home.

Give Them Chores and Incentives

Susan Tordella, author of Raising Able: How Chores Cultivate Capable Confident Young People, tells SheKnows that chores help nurture self-esteem because having a job or a chore around the house helps kids feel like they belong. Tordella also says that doing chores can help children learn decision-making skills in addition to learning self-discipline.

Just like with pets, you need to pick age-appropriate chores for your children. For example, kids under the age of five can learn to put away their toys and clothes, help set the table with non-breakable items and put away groceries. Older kids can be responsible for cleaning their rooms, making their beds and doing simple housework like sweeping, vacuuming or yardwork. Teens can help do the laundry, make dinner, wash dishes and run errands.

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