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If you want children to be happy, make them responsible for their things

The ability to fulfill obligations depends on the evolutionary development of each child, the educational model with which they are raised and how demanding the adults around them are

Families should give children responsibilities at home from a very young age, so that they learn the value of effort.Imgorthand (Getty Images)

If there is something that can tire a family out, it is having to tell their children over and over to fulfill their duties. To take responsibility for their tasks without mom or dad having to repeat it like a broken record. An irresponsibility that causes many conflicts and bad moods, and that can be quite tiresome when it comes to educating.

Doing homework, cleaning up the bathroom after taking a shower, decluttering their room or setting the table before lunch are some of the responsibilities that children or young people can find very difficult to assume.

Responsibility is one of the most important values that families must instill, but it is a long, difficult process that calls for a lot of patience and trust. It entails not doing for the children what they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves, even if it means that things may take longer and not be as well done as they could. It is a long-term task that will help children and young people develop social and personal skills and establish good relationships with their environment. This will teach them to commit to what they want, and to work hard to obtain it.

Being responsible means committing, persevering and fulfilling all your obligations without depending on others to remind you, or to order you, to do it. It is the ability to assume the consequences of one’s own actions and decisions, seeking one’s own and the common good. For children to be responsible they need adults who trust them, who help them gain self-confidence by recognizing their abilities, who explain that mistakes are an essential part of the learning process, and who give them the time they need to learn.

Responsibility is acquired gradually, depending on the evolutionary development of each child, through imitation and the approval of others. Several factors will influence this process, such as the educational model with which the child is raised, the personality of each individual, and how demanding the adults around them are.

A responsible child will have the necessary tools to build a good identity. They will be confident and have good self-esteem. They will be able to decide what they should do and when, and to think before they act and make decisions. They will become persons who enjoy everything they do and admit their mistakes without feeling ashamed.

On the other hand, a child with no responsibilities will have a hard time knowing what they should or should not do; they will be very dependent on adults and will not accept their blunders easily. They will be fearful, suspicious persons who will have trouble establishing healthy social relationships and will always blame others for their problems.

This is why families should give their children responsibilities at home from a very young age, so that they acquire the value of effort and perseverance and feel that they are an important part of the family. This will also help them develop planning and working strategies.

Keys to teaching a child to be responsible:

1. Encourage participation at home, assigning them simple, age-appropriate responsibilities, and giving them the time they need to carry them out. Parents should make sure that they understand what they are supposed to do, without demanding perfection or expecting them to do things just like they would.

2. Let them make their own decisions and be responsible for the consequences. Let them solve their problems by themselves; don’t be overprotective and don’t rebuke them for their mistakes. Setting limits and rules will help them understand what is expected of them. Yelling or punishing will not make them more responsible.

3. They need to understand that if they don’t fulfill their responsibilities, such as making the bed, loading the dishwasher or picking up their toys when play time is over, then another member of the family will have to do it for them. Explain clearly that they should help at home, as you are all a team. This will help them realize the importance of doing things when they need to be done and not when one feels like it.

The best thing that can happen to a child is to feel responsible and the protagonist of their own life. Being able to achieve what they want by working every day until they reach their goals. In this way, minors will be able to take risks, look for alternatives to difficulties and admit their mistakes. As Winston Churchill said: “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

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