Teaching your child responsible behavior

You are the most important person in your child’s life when it comes to teaching them responsible behavior. Your child looks to you for guidance and support, so it’s important that you take an active role in shaping their behavior.

There are 15 key things you can do to help your child learn responsible behavior:

1. Lead by example –

Children learn best by observing and imitating the adults around them. If you want your child to be responsible, set the tone by behaving responsibly yourself. Avoid saying things like “Do as I say, not as I do.” Instead, show your child through your own actions what it means to be a responsible person.

2. Be consistent –

Consistency is key when it comes to teaching your child responsible behavior. If you expect your child to brush their teeth every night, make sure you’re doing the same. The more consistent you are with your expectations, the more likely your child is to meet them.

3. Be clear and concise –

When communicating with your child, be clear and concise in your expectations. If you want them to brush their teeth before bed, tell them exactly that. Avoid giving them a long list of things to do before they can go to bed – this will only confuse them and make it less likely that they’ll actually do what you want.

4. Use positive reinforcement –

When your child behaves responsibly, make sure to praise them for their good behavior. This will reinforce the behavior and make it more likely that they’ll continue doing it. Avoid using punishment as a way to teach responsibility – this can only lead to resentment and defiance.

5. Set age-appropriate expectations –

It’s important to set realistic expectations for your child’s behavior. A 3-year-old is not going to be able to handle the same level of responsibility as a 10-year-old. Be sure to adjust your expectations based on your child’s age and maturity level.

6. Give them choices –

When possible, give your child choices when it comes to their behavior. This will help them feel more in control of their situation and make them more likely to comply with your expectations. For example, you could ask them if they want to brush their teeth before or after they take a bath.

7. Avoid power struggles –

Power struggles are never productive, so do your best to avoid them with your child. If you find yourself getting into one, try to step back and take a deep breath. It’s also important to remember that you are the parent and you have the final say in what happens – don’t give in to your child just to avoid a fight.

8. Be patient –

Teaching your child responsible behavior takes time and patience. There will be times when it feels like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back, but don’t give up. Keep at it and eventually your child will get the hang of it.

9. Encourage independence –

One of the goals of teaching responsible behavior is to help your child become more independent. As they master new skills, encourage them to do things on their own. This will help them feel capable and confident, and it will take some of the pressure off of you.

10. Teach problem-solving skills –

In addition to teaching responsible behavior, you should also focus on teaching your child problem-solving skills. This will help them figure out how to handle situations when you’re not around. Start by modeling how to solve problems yourself, and then encourage them to practice on their own.

11. Give them responsibility –

One of the best ways to teach your child responsible behavior is to give them opportunities to practice it. As they get older, assign those tasks and chores around the house. This will help them learn how to be responsible for themselves and others.

12. Help them learn from mistakes –

Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s important that your child learns from theirs. When they do something wrong, talk to them about what happened and why it was wrong. Help them come up with a plan to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

13. Encourage good decision-making –

Good decision-making is an important part of responsible behavior. Teach your child how to weigh the pros and cons of their choices and make decisions that are best for them. When they make a good decision, praise them for it.

14. Be a good role model –

Children learn by example, so it’s important that you be a good role model for your child. If you want them to be responsible, you need to show them what that looks like in your own life. Take care of yourself, follow through on your commitments, and treat others with respect.

15. Seek professional help –

If you’ve been teaching your child responsible behavior but they’re still not making progress, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can assess your child’s needs and develop a plan to get them on track.


Teaching your child responsible behavior is important for their development and future success. There are many things you can do to help them learn, including setting expectations, giving choices, avoiding power struggles, being patient, encouraging independence, teaching problem-solving skills, and giving them responsibility. You should also model good behavior yourself and seek professional help if needed.