Teaching Kids the Basics of Responsibility

Teaching Kids the Basics of Responsibility 

Teaching kids the how and why of responsibility can be challenging, as many children can be obstinate about taking on chores and other responsible actions. While it sometimes can feel tempting to forego lessons on responsibility, especially when it is much easier to just do the task yourself, it is important for children to understand why they need to be responsible.

Many parents make the mistake of waiting too long to start teaching their children responsibility, which can lead to a battle of stubbornness; however, regardless of how difficult the task may be, teaching your kids how to be responsible is something that will help them succeed as an adult.

Children need to know that there are consequences for their actions, and if they do not meet the required expectations, they may lose out on something they wanted. Adults are expected to meet deadlines, make payments on time, etc. If they fail to meet those standards, they are held to the consequences. In order for your children to succeed as adults, they need to learn responsibility.

While teaching responsibility might be difficult, it is for their benefit later on down the road. Here are a few tips on how to teach your children the basics of responsibility:

Car Maintenance

For teenage children, it is especially important they understand responsibility once they begin driving. If they have their own car, they need to know there are certain things they must do in order to keep the car safe and running smoothly. Make sure your children are prepared for maintaining a car by teaching them how to change a tire, how to call a windshield repair company such as  Pinnacle Auto Glass of Phoenix, Arizona, how to change a battery, and how to check the oil.

Moreover, learning car responsibility is not only for the benefit of teaching them accountability, but it is also for the purpose of keeping them safe. If they do not know how to take care of their car, they could find themselves in a dangerous or precarious situation down the road, which could leave them in a vulnerable state.


One of the best ways to instill responsibility within your children is to have them complete daily, weekly, or monthly chores. Depending upon your child’s age, give them age appropriate chores they need to complete, and if they fail to complete them, have consequences in place. In the real world, if they fail to complete something they are supposed to do, they will have serious consequences, such as losing a job, getting a late fee on an overdue bill, or in an extreme case, getting in trouble with the law. You can help prepare your children for the future by teaching them responsibility. It can help them recognize that there are certain things that need to get done in order for them to do something else.

For instance, if they do not clean their room or bathroom, they may not get to spend the night at a friend’s house. Or, if they skip their chores for the week, they may not get an allowance. Seeing that their choices have consequences can help them learn the value of responsibility.


One thing to keep in mind is that different children will have different abilities, especially when at different ages. Do not compare the way your 6 or 13 year old make their beds. At 13, they should be able to make a bed cleanly while at 6, the bed may be made slightly messier. It is important to recognize where they are at developmentally and to praise them for a job well done.

However, on the other hand, sometimes kids take the easy way out by completing a job halfway, such as shoving all of their toys in the closet instead of putting them away where they belong. While they did finish their chores, if they know better and were being lazy, it might be time to talk with them about expectations and that taking shortcuts have consequences as well.

Lead by Example

Children learn by example. If you want them to learn how to be responsible at a young age, it is important they see that their parents are responsible as well.

Teaching your children responsibility will help them be self-sufficient adults.

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