Be TeRRiFic: Responsible

two students work together on a painting project while sitting at a table

Children aren’t born with responsible habits. They learn them!

Children seem to crave responsibility. They like to be helpful and want to know that they are useful. Generally, the trick to raising responsible children is to give them responsibilities and hold them accountable for completing them.

Does your child have daily chores? Is it required that he/she pick up after playing?

Being dependable, honoring commitments, keeping promises, accepting our strengths and struggles, and accepting natural and logical consequences –these are the habits that make responsible children.

When we use our abilities to respond to the challenges in life, we take control with confidence. By telling our children to be the best version of themselves, we encourage response-ability. Providing opportunities that help children prove to themselves that they have the ability to respond to the challenges and opportunities that life avails can become a highlight of their day! 

Here are five tips from a mother of eight children:

  1. Model It: Do your best to be on time, clean up after yourself, do what you say, and say what you do.
  2. Assign It Gradually: Scaffold age-appropriate chores and activities within your family.
  3. Deal With It: Let them observe what happens if someone isn’t responsible. Strategically stop doing something that they expect you to do just so that they can experience how responsible adults usually are.
  4. Play the Scenario Game: Write 10-20 typical scenarios regarding opportunities to be responsible.
  5. No Bailouts: Let your child face the natural and logical consequences of irresponsible behavior.

Practice being RESPONSIBLE the AACA way:

  • Heart – Approach a friend who may be struggling.
  • Mind – Work hard to complete assignments with accuracy.
  • Body – Tidy the space you trace.
  • Soul – Think twice to speak nice.


  • “If you mess up, ‘fess up.” – Author Unknown
  • “Never point a finger where you never lent a hand.” – Robert Brault
  • “Quit making excuses. Putting it off. Complaining about it. Dreaming about it. Whining about it. Crying about it. Believing you can’t. Worrying if you can. Waiting until you are older. Make a plan & just do it.” –Nike

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