The Art of Teaching Kids Responsibility

(This post was written by Gina McClain, Director of Children’s Ministries)

I picked up a book recently entitled, “Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!” The book title intrigued me primarily because frustration in parenting is so common.  Just the picture on the cover resonates with me.  Mom in the driver seat clearly frustrated, kid in the back seat in full temper tantrum.  How many parents have been there?  (Looking for an ‘Amen’, friends)

It didn’t take long before I discovered something I needed to implement in my home.  The concept of wrapping back around.

A common frustration among parents is the constant challenge of asking our kids to do something… and they actually do it.  Preferably with a good attitude.  Kyle and I work to teach our kids to do what we’ve asked the first time we ask and try to avoid patterns of constantly repeating ourselves.  However, one thing I never thought to do is to teach my kids to come back and let me know when they’ve completed the task.  Interesting.

What it teaches the child is that completing the task is an expectation and you’re willing to follow through to ensure it gets done.  It teaches the child a valuable life-skill that will serve them well as they get older.  The idea of responsibility.

Of course I want my kids to learn responsibility.  I just didn’t realize that the simple art of asking my son to report back to me after taking out the trash would effectively teach him responsibility.

Good stuff.  I highly recommend reading the book, “Good and Angry” by Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller.  A great resource, even for the calmest of parents.