Step 6: Foster Responsibility and Independence
Learning to be responsible includes learning to:
• respect and show compassion for others;
• practice honesty as a matter of course;
• show courage in standing up for our principles;
• develop self-control in acting on our principles;
• maintain self-respect.
As parents we are always teaching our children with our words and our actions. Talk with your children about moral and ethical dilemmas to help them learn to stand up for their principles. Your child’s ability to reason through certain issues even reckless and selfish ones will improve as they mature. If you have taken the time to have meaningful discussions, it will help them in the deliberation process. Allow your children to work through problems on their own. Remind them that you are there to help if necessary, but give them the room to fail and help them to understand why. Help your children to learn that they should not allow others to bully them, but teach them that they should not handle conflicts or solve problems with violence. Teach your children to respect others and be tolerant of other peoples differences.
As parents, we can give our children the best in us by helping them acquire habits and character traits that they can rely on in their own lives. If we help them learn to take pleasure in thinking and behaving well, they will have the best chance to lead good lives as individuals and as citizens in the community