Teaching the Real meaning of Responsibility to Preschoolers:
Responsibility is a big word for little ones. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t understand what it means.
Teaching kids the value of responsibility is a life-long parenting challenge. It starts from the smallest things at home, like picking up items themselves to bigger things as an adult, like learning to pay bills on time. Without this skill, preschoolers will end up with a lack of appreciation of the importance of responsibility.
Many parents, however, do not know the difference between obedience and responsibility. They think that listening to and carrying out the instructions is the same as taking responsibility. It is obedience and it should not be messed up with the meaning of responsibility.
On the other hand, responsibility is the act of accepting that something has to be done out of obligation, whether they like the task or not. For example, it is the student’s responsibility to complete the homework given at school.
Age-related lessons for kids in preschool
It is easy to get confused with the misbehavior of a 2-year-old when they blatantly defy your orders to clean up their toys. Developmentally, it is difficult for a child of that age to understand the meaning behind your words.
This does not mean that it is appropriate to delay the lesson of responsibility until they grow up. It simply means that parents need to make an effort to remodel the framework of the instructions and get their preschoolers involved in the tasks as if they are playing the tasks together that was asked of them. It is important to portray that the task is fun as well because we are enjoying it doing together.
While you may have a certain way of completing your tasks to achieve your goals, it would be encouraging to allow your preschoolers to have the chance of doing it “their” way with your guidance. This helps to foster a sense of responsibility and pride when they believe they have met your expectations of them.
It would be useful to look at age-appropriate chores that your preschoolers are capable of completing and empowering them to do them independently.
Raise your kids with the expectation to always clean their messes
Begin by helping your kids to clean up their messes such that they do not view cleaning as a chore. Rather than yelling at your preschooler for spilling some milk on the floor, hand a piece of paper towel over and get one yourself so both of you are cleaning the floor together.
By keeping it positive and light-hearted, your preschoolers are less likely to get defensive and whiny about tidying up their messes. When kids constantly hear these words, “We always clean up our messes. I can help you if you need my help,” they grow to realize that this is expected of them and this responsibility is slowly instilled in them through your modeling.
Get your kid to do the thinking
It is, of course, much easier for adults to control situations involving young kids, such as packing their bags for them. Tasks such as these are not beyond kindergarteners ‘ ability if they have the opportunity to think and plan for themselves.
Instead of handing this job over to the adults at home, get your kindergarteners to tell you what’s needed at school and guide them to organize their school bags. An excellent way to teach them this simple task would be to create a chart with the school items they need.
This allows them to have autonomy with minimal to no supervision while developing the confidence to pack their bags themselves.
Teach your kids how to be responsible in their interactions with others
If your child hurts someone, whether with words or actions, asking them to apologize will result in a pointless unpleasant conversation that doesn’t mean anything to them.
Instead, listen to their explanation and ask them what better they can do in the future. Through talking, the kid may be ready then, to make atonement for their actions by apologizing or doing something good to the other person. This responsibility in interaction is necessary, especially in a preschool setting.
Often, children hurt their friends either intentionally or unintentionally, and this can result in a negative school environment for them. By putting the kindergarteners in control of the way they interact with their peers, you have given them an important life skill to handle their social life. It includes learning how to respect the rules, personal space, and consent of another person.
The aim of inculcating Responsibility in Preschoolers
The ultimate aim of the virtue of responsibility is to raise kids to show self-control, self-discipline, self-management, and self-regulation. When kids learn to be responsible for their actions, they will grow up to be adults who recognize that their actions contribute to the consequences they face in life.