Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
The simplest and most effective way to teach your kids responsibility is to be responsible yourself. The reason is obvious, they believe whatever you say is worth doing because they see you do it. However, while you live by example, you also need to imbibe good moral instructions into your daily family routine to make the lessons stick. Here are areas you could begin.
1. Respect for themselves: If our children get to understand that they are responsible for their actions, the choices they make either in regards to the friends they keep, their attitude towards their studies or their general behavior, they will learn to respect themselves more. As parents, we need to help them understand all these, as this will ensure that they remain responsible even when you are not there. Your teenage daughter gets to be careful where the opposite sex is considered. Careful in the sense that she knows where the boundaries lay and she won't let anyone cross those boundaries. This makes you worry less as parents.
2. Respect for others: It is crucial that parents everywhere teach their kids to respect other individuals. This includes respect for their fellow students at school, respect for their teachers at school and respect for the school authority. Children these days have a way of disregarding their teachers at school as well as faulting the school authority. We should not treat lightly any report of disrespectful behavior from the school authority.
3. Respect for other people's belonging: Taking things that belong to others without their permission is stealing and Children need to understand this. Children who take stuff from people without asking their permission first, will get use to such bad behavior, and it won't be long before they begin to steal from the society. Again, children must learn to respect government property, and take care of these properties like it were theirs. If our kids go about vandalizing government properties, or destroying things in our communities, we'd very soon have a very ugly community to live in.
4. Commitment to the society: Part of teaching our kids accountability is teaching them to be creative and growth oriented. If every member of a particular society whether young or old, is committed to the growth and development of that community, such community will be a great place to leave in.
5. Responsible for their health: We need to also teach our kids to treat their health with respect. This means teaching toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers in particular-personal hygiene. It could be something as simple as washing their hands regularly. Most importantly, our youths should be thought not to abuse drugs
Finally, if we can in our various little ways train our children to be accountable for themselves and the community they live in, we would have fewer cases of addictions, teenage pregnancies, teenage rebellion, reckless teenager prowling around and other serious issues we are faced with.