S.T.E.A.M. Day

Teaching your child to be responsible

Your friend has a young daughter who packs most of her lunch. Your sister’s 2-year-old son cleans up his dishes after dinner. How did these parents get so lucky? It isn’t luck—they’ve raised their children to make responsible choices. 

The earlier in life that you give children responsibilities, the earlier these responsibilities will become routine and habitual. One of the easiest ways to introduce recurring responsibilities is to invite your children to help with chores. Here are 3 effective ways to encourage your child to take on household responsibilities:


Introduce a routine so your child is performing a task that ends with something positive

For example, your child needs to put his pajamas on, brush his teeth, and put his clothes in the hamper before he can pick out a bedtime book to read.

Make it fun

Put a timer on and have a race to see if they can pick up their toys before the timer goes off, have a competition between siblings on who can tidy up the most quickly and neatly etc. 

Introduce natural consequences 

A natural consequence occurs without any enforcement from parents. For example, if your child does not want to tidy up her legos, explain that it’s their responsibility and if they won’t clean up, they might lose lego pieces. The more consistent you are with natural consequences and explaining the rules, the more likely they will understand and accept responsibility.

At the end of the day…

The goal is to help your children develop into responsible adults who are willing to help others. As your children grow and mature, increase their level of responsibility. Create a list of chores for the entire family. It is often a good idea to rotate the chores so that they can experience all the household duties.