An important part of growing up is learning to take responsibility for your actions. Children often pick up on this, but they also often don’t. It’s not uncommon to hear your child saying things like ‘It wasn’t my fault!’ or ‘He did this, not me!’
If allowed to develop, this habit can turn into a harmful long-term quality. So, it’s best to nip it at the bud. However, its essential to be tactful when doing so.
- Cause and effect
Often the simple solution is to create a consciousness of the relationship between action and their consequences. To make your child realize that certain actions lead to certain outcomes, you can do different things. When he does something, you can create a connection. ‘This jigsaw puzzle is finished because you worked so hard on it.’ and ‘Mommy is tired because she’s been working all day.’ and ‘this room is messy because you didn’t play with the toys one by one.’
- Task assignment
When teaching children to take responsibility, it is important that they’re explicitly put in positions where they know their actions will determine results. You can assign small and easy chores to your child and talk about how he goes about it. Did he finish? Did he not? Discuss his efforts and actions in a productive and loving manner.
- Be approachable
If you’re a scary parent, children will avoid admitting to their actions and blame anyone and anything that they can to stay out of trouble. But if you’re willing to give them the space to make mistakes, and approach their actions in a way that will help them learn and grow, they will learn to take responsibility for their actions.
- Explore and explain
You know your child best! Which is why you can explore his issues the best too. Figure out where he’s disconnecting from his responsibilities and actions. Why is he behaving the way he is behaving? What other ways can you explore in order to get him to take responsibility? Often too much lenience can also lead to a similar pattern. Moderation is key!