How to Teach Children Responsibility and Independence

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Most children develop a sense of self-awareness around the age of two, which lets them practice independence and grow up to be self-reliant and helpful people.

Children are more likely to become responsible, confident, and self-reliant if they feel adults believe in their abilities. Therefore, it is important to encourage toddlers to play independently, assist with age-appropriate household chores, and learn to solve problems.

Make sure to guide and supervise your child throughout the process of developing independence. However, try to avoid being overprotective. Instead, create a safe environment for the child to explore, take safe risks, and make mistakes. Children develop resilience, confidence, and perseverance by learning from their own mistakes.



How to Teach a Child to Be a Contributing Member of the Family

One of the best ways to teach your child to become a contributing member of the family (and society) is to include them in daily chores in your household. For example, most preschoolers can help around the house by doing tasks such as the following:

  • Pick up their toys
  • Make their bed
  • Tidy up their room
  • Help sort laundry
  • Set up the table
  • Help pack lunch boxes
  • Help put away groceries
  • Help with meal preparation
  • Empty trash cans

Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks

Involving your child in age-appropriate chores is important because too tricky tasks can be both dangerous and frustrating. On the other hand, assigning too simple tasks may bore children.


Set Up the Rules

Make sure to divide duties equally among family members and set clear expectations for each person. Discuss the importance of participating in household chores with your child. Ask them which assignments they like or dislike and how they feel after completing their tasks.


Acknowledge Their Efforts

Don't expect perfection and praise their efforts. For example, you can give stickers, buy small gifts, hug them, let them choose a family movie, etc.



Why Should You Get Your Child Involved in Household Chores?


Introducing household chores in early childhood can benefit your child in many ways:

  • It can foster a sense of agency, an essential social skill that allows us to make free decisions and choices
  • Assigning chores can increase your child's independence
  • It allows children to make choices
  • It can assist them in learning new skills
  • Assigning tasks can foster responsibility
  • Doing chores can boost confidence and self-esteem
  • It can encourage decision-making skills


Participating in daily or weekly household tasks instills a sense of responsibility, competence, and self-assurance in children. For example, your child's sense of responsibility and dependability can grow when you make them do specific chores. This can help them feel more confident and self-sufficient.

However, never give your child tasks that are too complex or demanding for their age. Give your child age-appropriate tasks that encourage independence, responsibility, and confidence instead of tasks that make your child feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and incompetent.