How to Help Your Children Become Responsible

How can we design an education that results in more responsible children? In this article, we share some strategies that increase the probability of success in this particular goal.
How to Help Your Children Become Responsible
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

One of the greatest challenges for you, as a parent is to ensure that, through education, your children learn to make responsible use of technology. That’s because they begin to interact with these devices from such an early age. However, helping them to be responsible with the use of screens can be a challenge. You also might experience similar difficulties in other areas. For example, teaching them to keep their room tidy or to do their homework without you having to remind them.

To help with this process, there’s positive discipline. This concept involves affection, understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. It helps children to be responsible. However, to achieve it, you need to start small. You might find the following tips to be of help.

Mother and daughter, demonstrating how to teach your child to become responsible.

1. Assign them simple tasks

The first idea or strategy to help your children to become responsible involves giving them simple tasks. In order, to make the situation easier, it may be a good idea that you also do them as well. For example, helping with the dishes or doing the laundry with you is a good way to start. This is the first step toward them acquiring autonomy. Because as a parent, you’re their role model.

For example, your child could pick up the dishes while you start to wash them. They can do the same with their own laundry, separating their white clothes from the dark ones and taking them to the corresponding buckets. In this way, they gradually begin to acquire responsibilities. These will also be transferred to the use of technology, doing homework, and generally better managing their time. For instance, they’ll have more time for classwork, friends, games, etc.

2. Make homework fun

Doing homework, taking out the garbage, helping to make food… These are all tasks that can help children to be responsible. However, they can also be extremely boring. Therefore, what’s the alternative? Try being creative. For instance, when it’s time to clean, you can put on music and dance while sweeping the floor or dusting the shelves. Also, enjoy a few minutes of play with them after taking out the trash.

“Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement, we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”

-Maria Montessori-

3. Parents should be an example

The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEPED) claims that parents “are the best example for their children, both in what they say and in what they do.” Indeed, children reproduce what they see at home. Therefore responsible parents are helping to educate responsible children.

For example, if you want your children to be tidy, you should show them that you’re tidy too. In this way, they won’t feel confused or wonder why they have to do it, but you, as their parent, don’t. In addition, by taking on certain responsibilities children often learn what they do or don’t like to do. For instance, there are many great cooks who started at home helping their parents.

4. Allow them to make decisions

On the way to autonomy, it’s a good idea to allow your children to make decisions.

For example, let them choose the extracurricular activity they want to do. If they subsequently decide that they’ve chosen the wrong activity, let them change.

“Kids learn to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.”

-Alfie Kohn-

Happy kids

5. Responsibility but rules too

Finally, the ultimate objective is to help your children to be responsible. However, they also need to understand that rules are necessary. Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook or ignore them.

Rules and regulations are essential as reference points. Therefore, any effort or initiative you take to make your children understand their value will help them. Good communication is essential during this process.

These are some strategies that can be used as a base and a starting point for helping your children to become responsible. You need to work on them from when they’re small and you should implement them in a gradual way.

In this article, we’ve given some ideas for carrying out each of our tips in the most appropriate way. However, the most important message of all is that your children should start to become responsible from an early age.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Behar, J. P. (2001). Educar niños responsables. Rba.
  • Clemes, H., & Bean, R. (2000). Cómo enseñar a sus hijos a ser responsables. Debate.
  • Gordon, T., & Fors, G. (2006). Técnicas eficaces para padres: TEP: el programa realmente eficaz para educar niños responsables. Medici.
  • López, E. M. H. (2016). Las normas, la responsabilidad y la felicidad de los niños. Diálogo: Familia Colegio, (319), 36-43.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.