Most of all, you’ll want to model and explain responsible behavior. Children usually learn better from concrete examples. So let your child see you acting responsibly.
For example, you shovel the walk in the morning after a snowstorm. Explain that it’s the right thing to do—not just because it’s a law or what neighbors might think. You are being responsible for others. You don’t want the mail carrier to slip and fall.
- Read with—or to—your child. In many children’s stories, the main character decides to act responsibly. After a story, ask your child to imagine what might have happened if the hero didn’t make the right decision. What would be the consequences?
- Allow your child to contribute to the household. As he matures, give him new chores. Pose his new duties as a privilege, not a burden. Your child could help you take care of a smaller child, pack his own lunch, or clear the table after dinner. He’ll feel important to the family. And he’ll feel good about accomplishing new tasks.
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