Personal Responsibility: What It Means and Whose Job is It?

"How many times do I have to tell you to clean your room?" Why should a child keep his room neat? Many children say they don't care whether it is neat or dirty, so why should it matter to anyone else? Unless it is a health or safety hazard, or things are getting lost and broken? Then comes the age old question, "What is neat?" The answer certainly differs with a ten year old child and a thirty five year old Mom. Who is setting the standard of how clean a room must be to be acceptable.

What constitutes a neat and tidy room may not seem like such a big deal, but it represents a microcosm of how the family works together and how personal responsibility is taught and learned. Even though your child picks up his shoes without being reminded and turns in his homework assignments, it won't guarantee his success in life. It will, however, go far to help him to develop the characteristics and attributes that employers and mates look for.

In the next few minutes, as you read this article, you will find two different and distinct components of responsibility: outward and inward.

1. Outward responsibility deals with everyday life skills such as doing chores, cleaning the room, doing assigned chores, brushing teeth, returning videos on time, and feeding the dog. Each family has its own list of what they consider important, so we will not discuss particular tasks. Rather, we want you to focus on nurturing a positive attitude and good habits in your children - habits that will help them to be productive and reliable.

If your child has the responsibility to clean his room and you clean it for him, he has learned a valuable lesson. He has learned that if he stalls long enough or whines convincingly enough that you will step in. He has no "ownership" of the task. It is not really his job, it is yours and you occasionally get him to do it.

2. Inward responsibility deals with attitudes, beliefs, and values. Being inwardly responsible means admitting mistakes, treating others as you would like to be treated, being unselfish, and caring about other people's health, property and feelings. We frequently get bogged down with the frustration of dirty rooms and forget about more important factors like inward motivation.

Effective discipline and mindful parenting is setting reasonable limits on our children at different developmental stages but giving them choices so they can learn to form their own opinions.

Our goal is to help them become self-disciplined and to learn to think and problem solve without asking or being told what to do in every situation.

Aptitude and competence or the ability to accomplish a task is not nearly as important and vital to a happy life as attitude and confidence. This is the area where we help our children build self-esteem, problem solving skills, a can-do outlook, and positive expectations toward life.

What does it mean to teach your children responsibility?

All parents have a different answer and a different expectation of when and how their children will assume personal responsibility. Responsibility must be taught. It is not a natural skill, but it can be learned at any age. You do not become responsible when you are mature; rather, you become mature when you are responsible. There are four variables in this exciting venture:

1. Your child (learning style, age, motor skills, interest, hot buttons or incentives)

2. Your expectations (perfection or ever-learning; Being kind and firm in discipline)

3. Your example and how you model 'assuming personal responsibility' for your choices (use the four R's: Recognize, Remorse, Restitution, and Resolve to correct mistakes)

4. Consistency and follow-through (natural and logical consequences)

Focus on the learning experience, not the finished product

In teaching your children to assume personal responsibility focus your attention on the learning experience, not on the finished product. It is the process that is most important. Constantly remind yourself that you are a teacher and your subject matter is life skills. A good affirmation to repeat to yourself is one that comes from Dr. Wayne Dyer, "I will be as helpful as I can in assisting my children to help themselves."

A cooperative environment is one where everyone in the family wins; there are no losers. By learning to support and assist each other in small daily tasks, we set the stage for encouragement and a willingness to become self-reliant.

Good luck. As a word of encouragement, I have to tell you that, of our grown children, the ones who were the messiest as kids are the neatest as adults! Hang in there; there is hope for the future.

Judy H. Wright, Parent Educator © 2005 www.ArtichokePress.com

This article has been written by Judy H. Wright, a parent educator and PBS consultant. You will find a full listing of books, tele-classes, and workshops listed at www.ArtichokePress.com. You have permission to use the article providing full credit is given to author. She may be contacted at 406-549-9813 or [email protected]

In The News:

Parenting with presence  soprissun.comAs usual, our favorite Mexican restaurant was packed. The parents at the table next to us didn't even flinch as their kids raced around not just their.
Positive Parenting: The Power of Praise  9&10 NewsEveryone likes a little pat on the back. But new research shows praise can have an even bigger effect, with major benefits later on. Researchers looked at how ...
Keep calm and don't carry on when parenting teens: Researchers look at how mothers and fathers control themselves (and their rising anger) in difficult interactions with their teenagers  Science DailyIn a new study, psychologists find that mothers and fathers who are less capable of dampening down their anger are more likely to resort to harsh discipline ...
Living with Children: Common parenting mistakes  Columbia Daily TribuneA journalist recently asked me for the single biggest mistake being made by today's parents. I was tempted to say, “Having children,” but stopped myself because ...
Parenting and work: The ultimate balancing act  Times of OmanManaging work-life balance as a parent comes with challenges, and with busy schedules for both parents and children, disruptions at the last minute can really ...
Parenting classes offered at St. Luke's Jerome  KMVTJEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) St. Luke's in Jerome is offering a weekly parenting session that includes lectures, skills training and homework for parents of ...
Triple P Parenting at Family and Childcare Resources of Northeast Wisconsin  WeAreGreenBay.comParents know that their children do not come with a manual.
Commentary: Child prodigies arise from involved parenting  Channel NewsAsiaNEBRASKA: Some people think talent is born. The often-told story of Mozart playing piano at 3-years-old and composing at 5-years-old reinforces such beliefs.
Dancer Matthew Morrison offers parenting advice to Meghan  Independent.ieThe Greatest Dancer coach Matthew Morrison has offered parenting advice to his compatriot the Duchess of Sussex.
The parenting problem — what value do we place on caring?  Financial TimesThree books argue how improving the way society treats parents and their children is in all our interest.
Loose Women's Stacey Solomon reveals surprising parenting confession  HELLO! MagazineStacey Solomon is known for always being real and isn't afraid to open up about the bad as well as the good time. And this week, the Loose Women panellist ...
When work and parenting skills collide  Lehigh Valley BusinessFor the past few months, I have been a case study for transferable career skills. My son has been the beneficiary of those skills. He's 18, so it's been hot and cold ...
Rich pickings: parenting tasks I’d pay never do again  The GuardianThe dirty bits of parenting we'd use Jacob Rees-Mogg levels of wealth to protect ourselves from.
Dr. Elaine Heffner: Make-believe parenting  Siskiyou Daily NewsA nurse in a maternity hospital once told me that the way to have three good kids is to have six and throw the first three away. It is unlikely that any parent would ...
Revealed: Kim Kardashian's Best Parenting Tip We Should All Follow  The Cheat SheetNow a mom of three kids (soon to be four!), Kim Kardashian has learned a thing or two about what it truly means to be a parent.
Parenting in Manhattan is a Darwinian struggle  The GuardianA slew of new books treats child-raising like another branch of economics that only the fittest will survive, says Guardian columnist Emma Brockes.
'I loved being a mum to small children' - celebrity Emma Freud reveals joys and challenges of parenting  East Anglian Daily TimesShe is used to high pressure roles in television, radio and fundraising for Comic Relief.
The Swedish Royal Family's Online Parenting Guide Should Be Required Reading  RomperNavigating the online world can be stressful and confusing for adults — let alone children. Because let's face it: There are some highly questionable people and ...
Revive Ministries to offer teen parenting courses  KSNB Local 4For those raising teenagers, it can be difficult to deal with all that comes with that process. That's why Revive Ministries is offering classes on how to navigate ...
Parenting advice people used to believe that you shouldn't listen to  INSIDEREveryone has an opinion about the "right" way to be a parent. Some outdated pieces of parenting advice range from misinformed to dangerous.
Call for Australians to take an old-fashioned approach to parenting  NEWS.com.auAustralian parents are being urged to take a step back from the pressures of modern parenting and adopt a simpler approach to raising children.
Local business hosts meal for parenting support group  McDowell NewsA popular downtown eatery showed its support last week for a local parenting group.
Here are parenting tips to learn how to raise a reader  Miami HeraldReading can transport and transform us, making us laugh (and cry), introducing us to different cultures, and encouraging us to see and think about the world in ...
Parenting throughout history could be weird, and downright dangerous: author  CBC.ca"Parenting" only became a verb in the last century, a fact that becomes clear when you look back at the history of how we used to treat our children. As much of ...
Khloe criticised for parenting approach | Entertainment  Jamaica Star OnlineKhloe Kardashian is fed up of being criticised for her approach to parenting. TheKeeping Up With The Kardashians star finds it “annoying” how she is constantly ...
Intellectual parenting doesn't end when our children 'grow up'  The Irish CatholicI was at a very interesting talk recently in St Saviour's Dominican Priory in Dublin. It was one of a series of lectures and was conducted by Fr Thomas Joseph ...
The surprising Indian origin of blue jeans  The Indian ExpressThe cloth, dyed blue with Indian indigo, came from Genoa in Italy, which led to the word jeans. When weavers from Nimes in Italy tried to reproduce it, their fabric ...
Stacey Solomon Admits She's 'Given Up On Parenting' This Half-Term – And We Can All Relate  HuffPost UKStacey Solomon's refreshingly honest post about “giving up” on parenting this half-term has been a hit with her parent followers on Instagram. The TV presenter ...
My Teen Daughter Is Dating Her Friend Who Practically Lives With Us  SlateCare and Feeding is Slate's parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Email [email protected] or post it in the Slate Parenting ...
Khloe Kardashian annoyed by parenting critics  EWNKhloe Kardashian finds it annoying how she is constantly being challenged on social media about her parenting skills, including her choice to have her nails ...
Sometimes, Parenting Is Boring  The New York TimesTaking care of a young child can be the most fascinating thing in the world, but there are times, let's face it, when it is not.
Decoding social media: parenting in the digital age  WYFF4 GreenvilleAs part of WYFF News 4 Today's month-long series, Geoff Hart helps decode social media by asking an expert, "What's appropriate for my kids?"
Will Meghan Markle Seek Parenting Advice From Kate Middleton?  The Cheat SheetWhile Meghan Markle is preparing for the arrival of her first child with Prince Harry, Kate Middleton is now a mother of three young kids.
Gender-Free Parenting  The Good Men ProjectTeach your children that all of the virtues – compassion and bravery, love and assertiveness – have their place in the lives of successful, well-rounded people.
Kate Middleton's Honest Parenting Confession Is Refreshing To Hear From A Royal  RomperKate Middleton is presumably a dab hand at parenting by now. After all, she has three children which is basically like being a pro-level parent in my opinion.
SC lawmakers consider "Free Range Parenting bill"  WCBD News 2Mount Pleasant, SC (WCBD) - In South Carolina, Lawmakers are looking at a “Free Range Parenting Bill”. The legislation would change the current state laws ...
Parenting a procrastinator? It’s more complicated than you think.  The Washington PostHave you ever received an email from your child's teacher letting you know she assigned a project that would be due in three weeks? And have you then asked ...
Should We Give Our Kids More Freedom? Why We Support 'Free-Range Parenting'  HuffPost UKIf your child asked if they could play out alone for the first time, what would you say? Would you encourage them, willing them to enjoy time independently?
Does The China Parenting Network Holdings Limited (HKG:1736) Share Price Tend To Follow The Market?  Simply Wall StWant to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and receive a $20 prize! If you own shares in China Parenting Network ...
These genius hacks prove we're all just trying to survive parenting  NBC NewsLike most new parents, Hillary Frank dove into parenting advice books after her daughter Sasha was born. “I was reading all these books about how to get her to ...
The 8 Best Books on How to Raise Toddlers, According to Child-Development Experts  New York MagazineThe best parenting books on raising toddlers, according to child development experts, including titles from Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, Dr. Laura Markham, ...
Problems with today’s parenting  NEWS.com.auPARENTING has never been more stressful, with mums and dads moving cities even countries for jobs, leaving behind the backup of family and friends, experts ...
Healthy pizza recipes you can whip up for your child  The Indian ExpressTry these healthy and easy pizza recipes at home and enjoy eating it with your child and other family members.
Positive Parenting: Moms who sleep better, parent better  WQAD MolineSleep: it's good for your body, your mind and new research shows it might also improve your parenting skills. Researchers looked at 234 mothers who were ...
Whitman: Seventh Mom Project helps mothers share parenting-related struggles  Tampa Bay TimesI positioned earphones on my swollen belly, blasted Alison Krauss and prayed the boy in my womb couldn't hear me cry. I begged God to make the anxiety stop.
Hax: Resist the urge to be a parenting coach  Minneapolis Star TribuneAdapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My husband and I got married and had kids relatively young, especially by his family's standards.
NRL Player vs. Parents: Is parenting harder than sport?  Now To LoveIn a new experiment, NRL star Kalyn Ponga proves Aussie parents work harder in a day than a professional rugby league athlete does during a match.
A Day in the Vegan Life of 'Bones' Star Emily Deschanel  LIVEKINDLY"Bones" star Emily Deschanel shares vegan parenting tips, what a day in the life of a vegan celebrity is like, and her transition to a plant-based diet.
Do not wash your kid's head with boiling water | Parenting Tips  ABP LiveSpiritual Guru Pawan Sinha everyday gives you a tip which is helpful for your parenting. Today in this section he tells you that you should never use boiling ...
Feeding the child  The Indian ExpressNoted dietician Rujuta Diwekar's latest book is for the children — Notes for Healthy Kids. Though the book focusses on perfect diet, healthy eating habits and ...
Russell Brand's 'inept' parenting is unacceptable and not at all cute  USA TODAYThe "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" star said he feels "inept" when parenting. All parents do. But they also learn basic childcare skills. So should he.
Stacey Solomon ‘gives up’ on parenting as she shares picture of sons  OK! magazineStacey Solomon joked that she has "given up" on parenting her two sons, Zachary, 10, and Leighton, six, as she shared a picture from inside their living room.
Edith Bowman: Parenting is harder than anyone admits  Telegraph.co.ukWe asked the DJ and broadcaster, 45, what her childhood self would make of her life.
Bringing Up Bebe Review: Why French Parenting Helps Kids Eat Normal Foods, Behave Themselves, And Sleep All Night  FatherlyAll the advice, tips, techniques from Pamela Druckerman's bestseller about raising kids in France, 'Bringing Up Bebe,' in 1000 words.
Parenting in the age of legal pot: Household rules, conversations help guide teen use  EurekAlertThe legalization of marijuana in Washington state in 2012 gave parents the opportunity for a new teachable moment. Many say that as society has become more ...
I love my child but I don’t love parenting. Will this change?  The Washington PostQ: I love my child. She is magic. But I don't love parenting. I just don't love this phase — she's 3½ , and, man, is it relentless. I miss the space to be still and alone, ...
How young is too young to be home alone? It should be up to parents, SC lawmakers say  The StateSouth Carolina lawmakers removed a minimum age at which a child could be left on his or her own in a vehicle or at home under a proposed free-range ...
Kate Middleton Made This Surprisingly Relatable Parenting Confession  The Cheat SheetKate Middleton shared a parenting confession during the recent Mental Health in Education conference.
Helicopter parenting: Parents found to be stalking, bullying teachers  Daily TelegraphApril Lee has been teaching year 1 for more than a decade and has experienced her fair share of difficult parents. But last year, one parent bullied the ...
Train wreck: Healing for two and parenting with PTSD  SalonPTSD. Mild as far as these things go. Just a nanosecond flash of adrenaline when the subway jerks to one side or the other. Whoa, big turn, I thought to myself, ...
Kamal Sidhu: I have a life beyond my son  The Indian ExpressTV show host Kamal Sidhu believes in savouring the joys of being a hands-on mom. Having become a mom at 39, she says, "You can't do what you did in your ...
What free-range parenting is and how it could change the way SC children are supervised  WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SCA bill in the South Carolina senate would clarify state law saying that parents who let their kids go off on their own are not neglectful.
Katie Price sparks fierce parenting debate after uploading THIS controversial video of daughter Princess  CelebsNowKatie Price has been defended by fans after a recent video of her daughter Princess has sparked a HUGE parenting debate online.
A Parenting and Life Skills Intervention for Teen Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial  AAP NewsBACKGROUND: Teen mothers often present with depression, social complexity, and inadequate parenting skills. Many have rapid repeat pregnancy, which ...
Prince Harry reading military parenting book to prepare for Baby Sussex  New IdeaPrince Harry has reportedly taken to reading military-style parenting books to help him prepare for the imminent arrival of his first child with wife Meghan Markle.
'12 years after we married, I finally began to trust my husband'  9HoneyTwelve years into her marriage, Dilvin Yasa began sharing parenting duties with her husband and trusting him.
Positive Parenting: How 'Sesame Street's' Julia is Helping Parents & Kids  9&10 NewsAutism is a condition that can cause developmental delays, trouble with communication and repetitive behavior. In 2017, one of America's most enduring ...
Carrie Bickmore posts Instagram photo showing the reality of parenting  NEWS.com.auCarrie Bickmore has shared a brutally honest post about the realities of parenthood — and people are loving it. The 38-year-old shared two contrasting images ...
PARENTING: Nurturing our kids with healthy soul food  Sarasota Herald-TribuneOne of the most obvious jobs of parenting is to nurture our kids, and a major part of nurturing has to do with feeding them. Most of us understand that what we put ...
The exhaustion that comes with parenting is crippling at times, writes Jane Lundon  RSVP Live"The doctor explained that the first thing she prescribes working mothers is a cleaner"
The economic case against free-range parenting — and in favor of being a helicopter parent  MarketWatchWe love the idea of “free-range” parenting. Our childhoods in the 1970s followed this approach to the letter — and it was a lot of fun. Our parents did the bare ...
The Making Babies Trailer Gives You Permission to Laugh at How Hard It Can Be to Get Pregnant  POPSUGAR AustraliaThe path toward pregnancy is different for everyone. For some couples, it's as simple as having sex and unknowingly fertilising an egg. For others, it can feel.
20 Best Parenting Books - Top Resources for Raising Children  WomansDay.comThere's no such thing as a perfect parent. Even the best moms and dads in the world need advice every now and then. Check out these great reads, which cover ...
Prince William Gives New Dads Advice on Parenting ‘Fragile’ Infants: ‘It’s Very Daunting’  Us WeeklyPrince William shared parenting advice for new dads raising 'fragile' infants at a charity event on Thursday, February 14 — details.
A Parenting Intervention to Improve Positive Life Skills in Teen  AAP NewsWe are familiar with the risk factors that can put the infant of a teenage mother at risk, including adverse social determinants of health or simply lacking parenting ...
Creating Effective Parenting Plans  Mediate.comThis article discusses working with your children's developmental needs when creating a parenting plan.
Positive Parenting: “It's never too late to parent”  WKOWYou might have heard that to raise a child, you need to “nip” bad behavior in the bud early. But a new study shows that's not necessarily the case.
LIVING WITH CHILDREN: Parenting or child-rearing? The difference is like night and day  GoDanRiver.comThere is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing or raising children.
Hecht: Parenting little piggies  Asheville Citizen-TimesIf messiness is a sign of genius, as some studies say, then nearly every child I meet must be one.
Real Housewives Give Their Best Parenting Advice to First-Time Dad Andy Cohen  PEOPLE.comThe stars of the hit reality TV franchise are the ones guiding their Bravo boss now.
Vauxhall embraces messy reality of parenting in Crossland X campaign  The DrumVauxhall has launched a new campaign poking fun at luxury SUV owners who are so proud of their fancy motors they won't let their kids drag dirt in.
Rural Parenting: Just give me the darn book  The Daily News OnlineIn the last month, I have been to the Virgin Islands, France, and now the state of Washington. I have hung out with magazine editors, famous arborists, ...
'Parenting' is on its way out, child-rearing is coming back | Rosemond  Reno Gazette JournalThere is “parenting” and then there is bringing up, rearing or raising children. The difference is night and day; so are the outcomes.
Em Rusciano calls out husband on Instagram for making parenting 'joke'  9HoneyEm Rusciano is not impressed with her husband, Scott Barrow, after he made a joke about her parenting durin...
PARENTING: Empowering the knight in our kids  Sarasota Herald-TribuneA major duty of parenting is to nurture our kids and part of the definition for nurture is to cultivate, support, encourage and train. There are many things that we ...
Trying The Parenting Style Of The 1980s Versus Modern Parenting For Kids  YourTangoThere are many different parenting styles. Some couples are helicopter parents, while others subscribe to old-school free range parenting. Here's what ...
This Man Autotuned His Cat Howling For Food in the Mornings  POPSUGAR AustraliaJoaquin Baldwin — an animation artist at Disney and an especially smart pet owner — recently almost broke the internet after he shared a video of.
Pamela Adlon on Parenting: 'Kids Are Not Enough'  VarietyPamela Adlon says that while parenting is "incredible," having kids shouldn't stop a person's journey of self-discovery.
Russell Brand Praises Wife Laura for Handling the 'Managerial' Parenting Tasks  PEOPLE.com"When I looked after Mabel on her own, she dropped two social classes," Russell Brand joked of his solo effect on his 2-year-old daughter.
Montessori parenting workshops start March  Chaffee County TimesThe cost of the full six sessions is $200 for an individual or couple. Childcare will be available for children 2 or older for a reasonable price, McFarland said. The.
How Having A Neurodivergent Child Has Changed My Outlook On Life  Scary MommyI have a neurodivergent child, and I've learned what is truly important. I have learned to follow instead of lead. I have learned that it's not a competition.
Parenting An Extrovert In An Introvert-Centric World  NPRMark Oppenheimer is a father of five. He recently wrote a piece for The Washington Post about how to raise an extrovert. He and his extroverted daughter Anna ...
Why Some Parents Pick Alternative Parenting Titles Beyond 'Mom' And 'Dad'  HuffPost CanadaSome LGBTQ parents are shaking the monikers up.

Ritalin (Methylphenidate) in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Ritalin is a good medication with a bad reputation. Its... Read More

Planning the Ultimate Kid Birthday Party

Child Party Planning Guideline #1)Pick the ThemeYour child is going... Read More

Valuable Parenting Tip

Very often, new parents rely on a parenting tip or... Read More

Stress is No Kiddy Matter

Kids today no longer live the kind of privileged lives... Read More

How to Make a Time Capsule

Looking for an unusual and memorable gift? Why not preserve... Read More

Spare the Child, Ditch the Rod

Spare the rod, spoil the child!This philosophy's been around a... Read More

Childhood Friendships

Childhood friendships are as special as they are a necessary... Read More

Labeling is Disabling: Achieving Congruent Communication

A small town, somewhere in the world, was managed by... Read More

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, But Not For Ice Cream!

We all scream for ice cream. Or, we don't, at... Read More

For School Success, Dont Coddle Your Kids

Parents want their children to succeed in school. However, sometimes... Read More

Facing the Homeschool Super Mom

I know this Mom. She homeschools her 5 children, plus... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: When is it OK to Quit?

Q. My daughter is a junior in high school and... Read More

Just What Is A Learning Disability?

A learning disability is defined as a permanent problem that... Read More

The Science of Mother Love

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that the way... Read More

Top Three Ways To Communicate With Your Child

Although many parents become frustrated as they try to maintain... Read More

Legacy to Your Children

John Bishop's Goal Setting for Students.comLegacy to Your ChildrenIt's 6:30... Read More

Playground Pettiness

Recently I took my two children to a popular new... Read More

6 Tried & True Fun Ways to Educate and Entertain Your Preschooler

1. New Word of the DayIntroduce your preschooler to a... Read More

The Three Best Alternative Treatments for ADHD

There are a LOT of alternative treatments for sale out... Read More

Drinking and Driving: Will Your Child Become a Statistic?

Just two days ago, another 15-year old child was added... Read More

Film Industry and Our Youth

In the first premise, some films and video tapes which... Read More

Top Seven Tips for Back-to-School Success

Parents play a critical role in their child's success. These... Read More

Spend Time Not Money With The Kids This Winter

Spending quality time with your children doesn't need to cost... Read More

Build Character with this Delicious Triple A Recipe!

Vinegar or honey, what do kids really want? "Toys, candy,... Read More

Simple Tricks To Help You And Your Kids To Find Friends

One of the most prevalent problems of the computer age... Read More