Back to articles How to Teach your child Responsibility

Categories: Parenting

Responsibility is a learned skill that is best taught earlier rather than later. Responsibility prepares kids for the future so they can get a job and keep it. Teaching responsibility takes time and on-going guidance but it will be worth it!

Kids must have some responsibility to become responsible.


5 Steps to a more responsible child.

  1.  Make a list of what you need done and be sure to list some jobs your child likes to do and is good at.
  2. Let your kids choose most of their tasks but make sure they are age appropriate and doable.
  3.  Add homework to the list.
  4. Make sure your child has a time limit to get their chores done and that means no privileges after that time. The consequences should be discussed and understood before hand. An example of a creative consequence for not doing the dishes might be to add one of their sibling’s chores to their chore list for one day. It’s a very effective consequence! To truly understand what responsibility is all about, kids must experience the rewards as well as the consequences.
  5.  Have an EXTRA CHORES list which means that if they do something from the EXTRA CHORES list…they might earn a surprise or extra allowance or even have a chore removed from their daily list for a few days. Your choice. A surprise might be might be that you clean their room, or give your child a back or foot massage, go to the movies, the park or bake cookies together. Make it something that means the world to your child and watch how enthusiastic they become about doing more for you!

How to maintain?

MOM & DAD… Do not cave! It is important that you be consistent with your expectations. Your actions speak louder than your words. They’re counting on you to keep them going.

“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do want we can.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

And most importantly, make sure that you smile and let them know that your day was better because of the part they played in it.


There will be no need for nagging or yelling because kids want to feel they have a purpose, that they are helping you and are part of a family that works. They want to know that what they do makes a difference to you.


If you’re still not sure that this area of parenting is important, check out the partial list below. These are areas of responsibility that your child will be expected to manage as he or she enters their teens and adulthood.








Homework/ Reading

Good friendship choices


Work Commitments



Responsibility = self-pride. It’s a win-win! 

About the Author: Monique Howat is a youth motivator.
Check out Monique's school or parent workshops