The value of responsibility: how to transmit this quality?
Jul 15, 2021
Do you know what the value of responsibility is? Why is it so important to transmit this quality since children are small, and how can it be done?
In this article, in addition to talking about what responsibility is, we explain what is the key strategy to enhance this value in children, which you can apply as a mother or father, as a teacher, and also as therapist. In addition, we propose ideas of tasks that enhance responsibility according to the age range of the child.
- We suggest you read: "The 10 best virtues of a person"
What is the liability value?
Before talking about how to transmit the value of responsibility to our children, let's explain what responsibility exactly consists of.
Responsibility is a value and a lesson that we can transmit to the little ones as soon as they can remember. This value implies being aware of the things we do, as well as their consequences, and facing them without avoiding the problems derived from our actions.
Responsibility also refers to the ability to take charge of certain things, to take care of them and to maintain them, through a series of actions and by making different decisions.
On the other hand, responsibility also implies fulfilling a series of day-to-day obligations. Logically, responsibilities (and obligations) vary throughout life, and are not the same with 5 years, 10, 25, 40, 65 ...
As the responsibilities are increasing (and require greater obligations and commitments) As we grow older, it is important to instill the value of responsibility in children from the time they are young, so that they become aware of it, internalize it and put it into practice.
The value of responsibility: how to transmit this quality?
We have talked about the value of responsibility, but how to transmit this value and this quality? In this article we will focus on addressing this issue in relation to the youngest, but also in relation to the not so young (specifically, in children and adolescents from 2 to 18 years).
Although we will often refer to children, It can also be put into practice for students or patients if you are a teacher, therapist, etc.
1. Give responsibilities to your child (or your student ...)
The key tool to convey the value of responsibility is start putting it into practice with the little ones. So to begin with, we will give certain responsibilities or obligations to our child.
These can start being assumable (easy) to gradually demand a higher level of commitment through them, and can cover different areas and aspects of your life: hygiene, school, meals, cleaning, home, etc.
Logically, when giving some responsibility to our son / daughter and that this is effective to enhance this value in him / her, we must adapt to her age and evolutionary level.
Here are some examples of tasks that involve some responsibility, according to the age range of the child, extracted from the book "Diary of a pediatrician mom" (Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, 2014) and prepared by pediatrician Amalia Arce (Hospital de Niños de Barcelona). These tasks will help enhance the value of responsibility.
1.1. Between 2 and 3 years
Some of the tasks that you can demand of your child at these ages, in order to increase their value of responsibility, are:
- Throwing papers and packaging into recycling bins
- Give clothes pegs
- Pick up the toys
- Put the books on the shelves
- Take the plate to the sink after meals
1.2. Between 4 and 6 years
Some of the tasks that you can propose to the child in this age range are:
- Sort toys and backpack
- Leave the coat in place
- Put some of your folded clothes in the drawer
- Put dirty clothes in the laundry bucket
- Tidying up the bathroom after bathing
- Help finish making the bed
- Help yourself to a portion of breakfast
- Take the plate to the sink after eating
- Help in the kitchen occasionally (for example, beating eggs)
1.3. Between 7 and 12 years
Already a little older, the tasks that can be required of children, and that increase their value of responsibility, are:
- Take down the trash or go throw out the recycling bags
- Go buy specific things
- Help save the big purchase
- Tidy up the room and make the bed (with help)
- Collaborate in small repairs (for example, put a light bulb)
- Help in the kitchen: for example grating tomatoes
- Leave the bathroom clean and tidy after using it
- Assist with general cleaning tasks: for example sweeping or dusting
1.4. Between 13 and 18 years old
Finally, and between the ages of 13 and 18, when they are no longer "children" (and for time ...), some ideas of tasks that we can propose to them and that increase their sense of responsibility, are:
- Fully assume the tasks derived from food (that is, setting and clearing the table, washing dishes ...)
- Take care of some of the fresh purchases of the week
- Participate in the big purchase
- Participate in house cleaning shifts (for example floors, bathrooms ...)
- Cook or prepare any of the dishes of the daily meal
- Participate in the tasks of help and protection of any of the family members who, due to age or illness, need it
- Do repair work (for example, sew the hem of pants)
Why is it important to convey this value?
Education in values is a type of education that teaches children to grow in respect and tolerance, among others. Specifically, it focuses on promoting positive values and qualities for their social, moral and personal development, such as: respect, empathy, tolerance, critical spirit, justice, responsibility, equality…
As we can see, one of these values is the value of responsibility, discussed throughout the article. Focusing on this last value, why is it so important to enhance it?
First of all, as we have seen, responsibility is a value that teaches children and teenagers to have obligations and to take responsibility - worth the redundancy - for their own actions and decisions.
It teaches them to take care of something or someone, to value things and to prevent them from being damaged. All this, indirectly, intrinsically teaches another class of values, such as: the love of diversity, the I respect, the care….
In addition, the fact of having responsibilities enhances the maturity, independence and autonomy of the child, which is already able to take responsibility for their things, to take into account the consequences of their actions and to act more thoughtful. For these reasons, the value of responsibility is one of the most important to nurture, since it will favor the development of the child in all its spheres.
Arce, A. (2014). Diary of a pediatrician mom. Penguin Random House Editorial Group. Spain. (P. 94).
Cortina, A., Gray, J., María, J., Trías, E. and Vargas, M. (2009). Education and values. New Library. (2nd Ed.). Spain.
Parra, J.M. (2003). Education in values and its practice in the classroom. Complutense University of Madrid. Pedagogical Trends 8, 69-88.