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Responsibility Could Be The Most Valuable Lesson You Teach

Responsibility Could Be The Most Valuable Lesson You Teach

Teaching your child to be responsible is perhaps the most important lesson for them to learn while they are living with you. If you can do one thing, teach your child to be responsible and to take responsibility for their actions. It doesn’t matter how old your child is, start teaching your child the importance of responsibility to keep them safe and help them navigate in the turbulent waters of the adult world.


I have always tried to equate the concept of responsibility with freedom. I tend to believe that these two things naturally go together anyway and effect each other naturally and as children grow into teenagers, freedom becomes a very important commodity. As an adult, I have a love/hate relationship myself with responsibility. I enjoy the sense of importance that I can feel by taking on a new responsibility, but I love my freedom at the same time. When I take on unnecessary responsibilities, my freedom is correspondingly diminished. On the other hand, when I take on responsibilities that are necessary in my life and that grow organically out of my own desires and needs, following through on responsibility usually means that I get more freedom than I had before. These ideas about responsibility aren’t exactly straightforward and as with harmony, children need to be coached and have real world experience in order to develop skills at being responsible adults.


Some foster children take on too much responsibility. Parentified children who took on the task of parenting their parents can be overly responsible. They take responsibility for unnecessary things and experience a reduction in perceived freedom. This can be detrimental and it can be really hard to teach parentified children to let go of this sense of responsibility.


On the flip side, other foster children don’t feel the need to take responsibility for anything. They cast blame on whoever is standing closest to them and refuse to be accountable for their actions under any circumstances. These children can benefit from disciplinary strategies that systematically remove coveted freedoms. Teaching these foster children that irresponsible behavior and a lack of accountability results in a loss of freedom can have quite an impact in a short span of time.


One can be responsible toward others. One can be responsible towards oneself. Responsibility has different flavors. Instilling in your foster child the need for them to “follow-through” on promises and on what they say they’re going to do is important to them in all kinds of domains that they’ll encounter when they become adults. It’s important for husbands and wives to be able to follow-through on promises they make to each other. It’s important for employees to be able to follow-through when they say they’re going to show up to work at a certain time. It’s important for parents to follow-through on what they say they’re going to do for their children. Foster children who have lived with parents who do not take responsibility for their behaviors and follow through on obligations and promises may not understand the virtues of doing so. You can be a model of responsibility to your children, but make sure that you partake in certain freedoms as well. Demonstrate to your child how to balance responsibility with enjoyable activities in order to be happy day-to-day.


The unwillingness and inability for foster children to take responsibility for their actions is a major problem. If your child overcomes an inability or unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions, you should celebrate this breakthrough heartily because it is a big one. Casting off responsibility can make it easy for people to ignore the needs of other and to forget that their actions have an influence on the people who love them. Taking responsibility means that foster children get to feel a sense of importance and a satisfaction in a job well done. It means that they get to enjoy certain freedoms that must also be engaged in with responsibility.


So, if there’s one behavior that you can’t ignore or let go, it’s a lack of responsibility. If your foster child behaves irresponsibly or fails to take responsibility for his actions, its imperative that you discipline and provide guidance on this important note. Responsibility is the crux upon which adulthood pivots. All activities that we equate with maturity require some level of responsibility. Responsibility should be a word that your foster child knows well and he should never questions it’s importance in the scheme of your parenting philosophies. In order for your foster child to grow into a well-adjusted, happy adult, he will need to master this important skill!

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