How to Raise your Children to become Responsible Adults

Children are impressionable beings. From a young age, they learn from what they see and hear from their parents and adopt these principles as the right way. However, if what children are being taught is not positive, it is possible that they may grow up having a skewed sense of responsibility. In order to avoid problems in the future, consider setting positive examples for your children when they are small. Since most children are inquisitive by nature, it means  that they are observant, and by implementing the following suggestions, the process of teaching your children how to be responsible, and thus, mature adults, will go a lot smoother.

No one likes a cluttered home. By keeping your house clean, your children will understand that for you, laziness is not an option, and that if they want something, work is required. As your children grow, ask them to help you with chores that they can handle—washing and/or drying dishes, raking leaves, taking out the garbage, etc.—and once they understand the value of money, negotiate an appropriate weekly allowance.

Next, be the best example of saving money that you can. If you break a dollar, put the change in a piggy bank, Mason jar, or an empty water jug. Of course, your little ones will ask for some change, but nine times out of ten, they will see the increase in coins as a positive aspect of you, and ask to have a piggy bank as well. Explain to your children that saving for a rainy day is necessary, and that a portion of their allowance should be placed in the piggy bank. Set up a savings account for them and, at the end of the month, take a trip with them to the bank to deposit the money. Your children will see their money growing and will be encouraged to save more. After all, it is better to have money and not need it, than to need money and not have it.

After that, consider showing your monthly budget to your children, or make a mock budget for them. If you give your children an allowance, explain to them the difference between needs and wants, and that a monthly budget is a financial plan as well as a great way to keep track of spending. Also, it may be a good idea to inform your children that spending more than what is earned is not a sign of being responsible. If they want something, they should have more than enough money to purchase the item so that they have funds left over for a rainy day.

Lastly, if you drive your children to school or play dates, be sure to show them how to fasten their seatbelts and be sure to do the same before pulling away from the curb. Maintain appropriate speed while driving, use your turn signals, be mindful of your speed in work zones, don’t tailgate, etc. If your children question why you are slowing down or waiting for a car to pass, explain your actions to them. When the time comes for your children to begin taking lessons for their permits, they will have remembered your actions and know that safety on the road is important.

Telling your children that they must be responsible is not enough. You must first show them the meaning of responsibility by considering and adopting the aforementioned principles; be sure to maintain an open line of communication with your children so that they feel comfortable approaching you with any question or concern. In the end, they will adopt and retain the same principles well into adulthood.