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Raising Responsible Children

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by , 03-24-2010 at 06:07 AM (4000 Views)
Raising Responsible Children

The group consisting of mother, father, and child is the main educational agency of mankind. ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
When I taught first grade many years ago, there was a 7 yr. old child in my class that was very "babied" at home. Some days the parents even carried him to my classroom door. This child had difficulty writing and doing schoolwork, constantly wanting me to help him. He physically was not at the same level as the other children (maybe because he didn't have to walk much ). He couldn't tie his own shoes, and lunch was a disaster. He ate like a two year old - food was everywhere. In fact, I usually tried to sit looking away from him because it was difficult to watch him and eat! I wondered if he would ever make it to capable adulthood.

Ok - maybe I am a mom with ideas from the dark ages - but I like children to be taught and trained according to their ability. There was no reason for that 7 yr. old to have the skills of a two year old - except for the parent's desire to keep him a baby. When we give our children responsibility we are making life meaningful for them. Have you ever given your little one an important job and watched how they rise to the occasion? It is truly precious - you can almost see them growing on the spot.

And - that's exactly what happened to our friend the 7 yr old...I made it clear that I was not able to spend all my time with him, that he was going to have to do his work like the other children. We learned how to tie shoes (that's the downside of velcro ), how to run and play games, and how to eat neatly, and by the end of the year he was even using the microwave himself. He began to ask his mommy not to carry him in to school. It seems that when we expect great things from children - if they are able - they will do their best to rise to the challenge.

At our house- with each passing year, we give a bit more responsibility to each child. They have daily responsibilities in the areas of personal hygiene, cleaning their rooms, caring for their own things, and even handling social situations appropriately for their age. They also have "chores" that they are responsible for. We have a large family, so we try to show each child how much they are needed to make our household work. We have also structured their homeschool resources to challenge them individually and to enable them to be responsible students. Between their work books and online homeschooling they encounter educational challenges each day that grow them!

Each home is unique and each parent uses different methods to teach their children. Finding out what others do - is always encouraging to me. What challenges do you give your children to help them grow?


  1. MamaMary's Avatar
    This was such a great post. It's so true that we should be constantly evaluating our children's ability with their responsibility. Thank you for sharing how this looks in your home.