Children are very sensitive to their environments and tend to absorb everything that’s going on around them. A parent’s role is one of teaching by example and in expression. One of the best things that any parent can do for their children is to teach them to be responsible little people. This characteristic will help children grow up to be responsible adults.
When There’s No Responsibility
When responsibility is not taught, children often fail to make the connection between their actions and consequences. This is unfortunate because the world that we live in is very much consequence based. If you run a red light you can get a traffic ticket. If you don’t put gas in your car you will run out fuel and be unable to drive until you refuel. Consequences are both naturally occurring and man-made. This is why teaching responsibility is essential.
As soon as children are able to understand right from wrong and witness the natural process of cause and effect you can start teaching responsibility. If a child eats his candy before dinner even though mommy has told him not to, a small consequence can be introduced and explained. The consequences don’t need to be extremely harsh because the point can be lost with harsh punishments. The consequence should act as a gentle reminder instead.
As your children grow you will begin to see them reason with themselves as they make choices in their lives. It’s music to a parent’s ears to hear his or her child make a statement that clearly shows that they understand cause and effect and the consequences of poor choices.
A child that never has anyone to teach and model responsibility can grow up to be an adult who makes poor choices. As a young adult, you may have a son or daughter that wants to own a firearm and buys one along with a concealment shirt, not realizing that there are laws for concealed firearms. This choice could result in a hefty fine if she or he is caught. This is why it’s a good idea to teach responsibility along with all of the other things that you teach your children because it stimulates their ability to reason.
Children have to be taught responsibility because as adults and even as children, they will be held responsible for their actions. It’s an excellent way to show the relationship between cause and effect as well as the power of making good choices.