How to Encourage your Kids to be Responsible for their Actions
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How to Encourage your Kids to be Responsible for their Actions

How to Encourage your Kids to be Responsible for their Actions

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life.”

– Hal Elrod

Kids have a natural tendency to want to avoid taking responsibility for their actions that may drive us crazy.

From forgotten open milk cartons at home to unfinished snacks in school they would often play the blame game and point their fingers at other people.

According to Kate Roberts, a Boston-area psychologist, “Kids this age don’t understand that everybody makes mistakes.

Blaming somebody is simply their way to avoid disapproval and negative consequences.”

While this is perfectly normal for kids, it is definitely important to teach kids to take responsibility for their actions. Here are some ideas to help develop this character at home:

Honesty is still the Best Policy
If you want your kids to easily admit their faults, always keep your cool when expressing dissatisfaction about their poor behavior.

Skip the lectures and resist the urge to pile on the punishments.

Instead, acknowledge how hard it can be to admit their faults and let them know that everyone makes mistakes and what matters most is that they learn from it.

Help Children Understand the Effects of their Actions
Help your child realize that all actions have effects – both good and bad.

Encourage them to identify the connection between what he does and what happens by pointing out real-life examples so they will easily understand.

Create Role Play Scenarios
Kids of all ages learn most in the context of play.

Encourage action and consequence role play to help them understand how actions have natural consequences.

You can turn this learning into a game by coming up with different situations with challenges that would boost their imagination.

Teach Problem Solving Skills
Rather than talking about the child’s mistake, focus on the behavior and help them brainstorm different ways to solve the problem.

Help your child develop as many solutions as possible and help him see that with little creativity, he can find many solutions to the problem.

Check your Own Behavior
Kids are always watching us, thus it’s important to model the behavior that we want our child to exhibit. Lead by example and demonstrate responsibility in your everyday life. Follow rules, avoid blaming others and if you make a mistake, admit it and make amends if possible.

Be Consistent with your Expectations
Create house rules, set boundaries, and be consistent with them.

You cannot expect your child to act responsible for their actions if we constantly make exceptions for them.

An extra effort to be consistent is important to raise confident and responsible kids.

Read Children’s Books
Books can be great conversation starters on blame shifting. Here are some suggestions that both parents and children alike will relate to.

I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer
Little Critter will make us smile from start to finish as he struggles to remember a lot of things that he is supposed to do each day. This classic book teaches us the importance of being responsible with our actions.

But It’s Not My Fault by Julia Cook
Things just don’t seem to be going Noodle’s way but it’s never his fault or so he thinks. In this wonderfully illustrated book, Noodle teaches us the importance of accepting to be more responsible instead of putting blame on others.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
The whole town calls her The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes because Beatrice Bottomwell has never made a mistake in her whole life. But one huge mistake will make Beatrice realize that life is more fun when you learn from your mistakes.


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