Self Responsibility in Children

24 Jun

“Parents who wish to nurture self-responsibility in children look for opportunities to offer children choices and options, and encourage them to think through the consequences of their decision.”

From the book “Taking Responsibility” by Nathaniel Brandon

This is a big thing for me.  I am passionate about teaching kids to take on personal responsibility.  I am sure I have yet to master the art of teaching it but I will never stop instilling this in their minds.  I believe that if children really get this, then this might keep them out of trouble.  

What do you think?  If you think of any subtle, good ways of teaching this… then please write away!


Posted by on June 24, 2008 in Uncategorized


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4 responses to “Self Responsibility in Children

  1. miss3h

    July 15, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Well the first thing that comes to mind were summers at home as a child. We loved to play outdoors, riding our bikes or what not. But my mother got so frustrated with us running in and out. So she would ask “In or Out”? Whichever you chose was set for an hour! If you chose “out” she would lock the door to the house and pass us water through the window. We had to choose wisely because she made us follow through.

    What I am trying to say is, I think the learning came from knowing we could not get out of our choice. It is one thing to involve a child in the decisions of everyday life, but if you let them out of the “consequences” they learn nothing. I applaud my mother because it took a lot of will power for her to teach us some of the lessons that she taught.

  2. crystalrelfections

    July 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I agree with your point. I really really try to stress consequences. I find it a wee bit hard to do when you’re dealing with a six year old. However, my son is 6 1/2 and now he knows for the most part that when I allow him to choose, then he has to stick with it. It makes them think, you are right.
    I am also trying to make them understand that sometimes, you get privileges that can very well be taken away if you don’t act responsibly. Example: I let them watch tv before getting ready to bed but if they whine when it’s time, then they lose that. The next day, they cannot watch unless they are all dressed up and ready – dinner and all – which doesn’t really give them enough to enjoy the show. Now they know… 😉

  3. thefridayclass

    August 6, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Well, its a matter of point of view but i believe adults (teachers and parents) need to balance between teaching by consequences and teaching by discussion. If children have to make choices all the time, they might find themselves a little stressed. Dealing with consequences and learning from them should not be the primary way of teaching as some consequences may affect a child to a very high level. S/he may regret or blame him/herself for taking a worng decision and may end up loosing self confidence.

    The Friday Class, authored by Fatima and myself, is a forthnightly ariticle that appears in Dubai based magazine, Young Timees. It presents the dos and don’ts young children (above 7 years) should be aware of when doing chores at home or outdoors.

    Have a look!


  4. crystalreflections

    August 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Mariam,

    I do get your point of keeping a balance in teaching. I am all for that. Believe me, I discuss a lot of things with my kids. My brother calls us the “Let’s talk” family because if I have to, I take my kids (or kid) in a room to discuss things with them. I don’t let them make choices all the time because if I do and I don’t agree with what they eventually choose, I’m stuck. At the same time, I need them to decide for themselves sometimes. I don’t want them to just always go with the flow. I know that if they will learn to make good decisions, then I have done a big part of parenting. But like you said, there has to be a balance.
    I dropped by your site, I will have to show that to my daughter. Thanks for sharing your input. I totally appreciate it and please come back often.


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