Teach Responsibility: Some Tips on How to Raise a Responsible Child

Tips on Teaching Your Child to be Responsible

This is a partnered guest post.

Raising a responsible child is something every parent aims for. But, how can it be accomplished? As they get older, children often want to contribute to the family and show they’re capable of helping out. By adding some duties to their plate, you’ll not only teach them accountability, but gauge their level of responsibility. Here are some tips on how to get stated.

Let them help

Even though it might take a little longer to complete a task if you let your child help, allowing them to do so will pay off in the long run. Whether it’s putting laundry in the dryer or washing the car, letting your child contribute will help them feel a sense of accomplishment, boost their self-esteem, and make them more will to volunteer their assistance in the future. Even if some clothes get dropped on the floor or you get sprayed with the hose, giving your child that sense of contribution will help lay the foundation for future responsibilities.

Encourage self-sufficiency

Don’t wait hand and foot on your child, instead, teach them how to do things on their own. Once they’re old enough, encourage them to pour their own cup of juice or grab a snack out of the pantry when they ask for one. This will help build their independence and make them a little less dependent on you as they grow up.

Make them take accountability

Many parents subscribe to the old mantra, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” While this may alleviate some stress, it doesn’t do much to teach children accountability. When they’re older, insist that your child takes ownership of caring for personal items like eyeglasses, or electronic devices. If they’ve grown up knowing that mom or dad will always put discarded glasses back in their case or pick up an idle mp3 player off the floor, they’ll be less likely to assume the blame when the eyeglass frames get stepped on or the music player’s screen gets cracked. Make it clear that these items are the child’s responsibility, not the parent’s. And make sure they understand the time and expense it takes to repair or replace these items.

Offer incentives

Whether it’s an allowance or extra TV privileges, incentivizing your child’s efforts will help encourage them to continue. If your young child had an appointment with an eye doctor and sat quietly and cooperated the entire time or your older child cleaned up the kitchen after dinner without being asked, reward them with something important to them. Far from bribing, offering incentives teaches your child that hard work is rewarded – a lesson that is valuable throughout life.

Give praise and encouragement

No matter how old your child is, reinforcing their efforts with praise and encouragement rather than nagging and negativity will show that you support and believe in them. Succeeding at the responsibilities you give them and letting them earn more will help them feel like an valued, contributing member of the family and set them up for increased confidence and greater accomplishments in the future.

Post is sponsored by LensCrafters.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. Great tips! I find that my son responds well to responsibilities when we offer an incentive.

  2. We use incentives at our house too.

  3. Positive reinforcements are so important! And incentives don’t hurt either. 😉

  4. What great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great tips. We’re working on incentives for cleaning her room now. All seems to be going well.

  6. Great tips!

  7. These are some great tips. I’m not above bribing every once in a while.

  8. These are great tips. I already implement most of them and they work really well.

  9. Holding them accountable for their decisions is only to their benefit!

  10. Love these. as a blogger my girls get to do some pretty amazing things but it doesn’t come easy for them. They have responsibilities to fulfill before they get the rewards of Disney, Sea World and other events we go to.

  11. I hoping I do better with self-sufficiency now that I have two children. It’s much harder to micromanage!