I think I can safely say that we all want our kids to learn to put their things away, respect the house they live in, and be kind to others. And teaching a child to be nice and help out is great.
But I’ve been thinking lately about how instilling a sense of responsibility – and helping the child discern for themselves what this looks like in real life – is one step beyond and covers quite a bit of territory regarding life decisions. Don’t we want our children to take responsibility for their actions, whether it’s cleaning up after their own selves or being thoughtful of their friends?
The outward form of “responsibility” will change over the years as the kids grow up, but learning the word and what it means is a first step. So I made this activity to help us learn what responsibility is and how we can “pledge” ourselves to act responsibly.
If you want to teach children responsibility, you may like to give this a try!
We discussed the word “pledge” (pledge = promise) and talked about how sometimes people make a public pledge (like holding a hand over the heart) when they are deciding to do something important. We pledged a few things that we would like to do to act responsibly, such as putting the dishes and laundry away before bed time, being nice to siblings, and picking up toys after we use them. We talked a lot about being responsible with our hands when playing with siblings as this is a constant discussion in our household at the moment…
Then we traced the boys hands on a piece of paper, colored them in and wrote the word “Pledge”, then cut the hand out. Simple! Just a little physical reminder of what “pledge” means and how we can pledge ourselves to responsible behavior.
What ways have you introduced the concept of responsibility in your home?
Feel free to share your experiences with this activity and/or any variations you came up with. Links to related activities or to your post that links here, are most welcome also.
Thanks for your feedback – I appreciate all your comments!