Developmental Asset #30: Responsibility

A young person who learns to accept responsibility for his or her own actions, choices, and life will grow into a more competent and independent adult than one who doesn’t. Here are some ways you can promote personal responsibility in your child, from early years up through young adulthood.


  1. Educate your kids about the value of money and what things cost. Giving them a weekly allowance is one time-honoured strategy. You can also simply talk openly about money and how your family makes financial decisions. Money should not be a taboo subject.


  1. Every mistake is a learning opportunity, so don’t bail them out every time. Let them solve some problems on their own.


  1. If your kids forget or shirk a responsibility, consider letting nature take its course so that they learn consequences. Of course you look out for your children, but you don’t have to rescue them every time. For example, if they know they’re supposed to do their laundry, and they forget, they may have to contend with running out of clean clothes.


  1. As your child gets older, give them more responsibilities around the home, e.g. care for pets, chores, etc.


RECOMMENDED READING: Teaching Kids to Change the World: Lessons to Inspire Social Responsibility for Grades 6-12 by Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner and Chris Maser.


Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.