An important part of growing up and maturing is learning how to handle responsibility. Holding your children accountable for things like doing chores around the house, keeping up their grades and making good decisions plays a crucial role in their development into mature young adults.
You can start holding your children accountable for things at a young age by starting with something small, like putting their toys away. By giving your children this small responsibility to start with, you can set them up for greater duties when they are older. It is important that they uphold their responsibilities and know that there are consequences when they do not. This will show your children the importance of doing what is expected of them and not skiving off their responsibilities.
Children should also be held accountable for their behavior. If a teacher comes to you and tells you that your son has been acting up in class, blaming the teacher will send the wrong message to your child. By blaming the teacher you are teaching your son that he is not accountable for his actions.
If you’ve set standards for behavior for your children, it is important that they adhere to them. They need to know that you have made rules for a reason and that there will be consequences for not following them.
This applies especially to rules we make to ensure our children are safe and healthy. If you teach your children that smoking is bad, you expect them to stand up against peer pressure and turn down that offered cigarette. If they don’t, saying that all the other kids were doing it is not an excuse. They should understand that the punishment they might receive is far better than the negative effects smoking will have on their bodies.
It is a parent’s job to tell their children the ins and outs of life, whether or not their children are actually listening. However, it is important to let your children make some of their own decisions. This will give them a sense of independence and will make them feel like an adult. This may sometimes mean they make their own mistakes as well, but as long as they are held accountable for their actions, a lesson can be learned from these mistakes. If children do something wrong then nothing happens to them, they have not learned anything except what they can get away with. The purpose of holding your child accountable for their actions is not only to give them a sense of responsibility, but to teach them right from wrong as well.
Holding your children accountable for the decisions they make can help make them better problem solvers. If they know their actions have consequences they will be more likely to think something through before acting on it. Accountability is about getting them to think things through for themselves and learn about responsibility before they become adults so that they will know how to handle it when they do.
Solomon Brenner has been teaching martial arts to children and adults for ten years, and holds a 6th degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. During that time he has held countless seminars on subjects such as self-esteem in children and teens, behavior and discipline, praise vs. punishment, career motivation, goal setting, parenting, and self defense. He has spoken to elementary schools, women's groups, scouting organizations, civic associations and corporate seminars. Using these experiences, he has recently authored Black Belt Parenting, a motivational how-to book for parents.