How to Teach a Child to Take Responsibility for Their Actions
How to Teach a Child to Take Responsibility for Their Actions
Do your kids make excuses and are quick to fault others? Do they blame others and not accept their mistakes? Do not worry as you are not alone facing this problem. Children growing up indulge in blame shifting. And it’s up to you to make them responsible.
Pre and primary school age is the right time to do it. At this time, your kids are aware of the rules. They are curious and want to push the boundaries. But they do not want to get into trouble too. Also, they do not realize that anyone can make mistakes. Along with these, there may be other reasons too. Let’s have a look at some of the ways to tackle this issue and make your child more responsible.
1. Find the Root Cause
Find the root cause of why your child is not owning up to his/her mistakes. Is it shame or are they afraid of your anger? Do they fear failure or think you will judge and stop loving them? You have to talk to them and find the link between why they are behaving this way. Help them find the root cause of this issue and then solve it together.
2. Create a Safe Space
Create a safe space for your children where they can freely admit their mistakes. You should respond and not react. Do not shout or lash out at them and force them to apologize. Instead, give yourself and your children time to calm down. Make it safe for your children to be responsible and honest. Talk about what they can do to make things right.
3. Stick to the Rules
Creating a safe space does not mean giving your child free rein. You have to create rules and set boundaries for your children. Be clear about the rules you want for your kids. You can talk to them about it and create charts and checklists. Pin these charts and checklists in their bedroom or a common area. Ensure your children have to follow the rules or face the outcome. These outcomes need not be violent. These can be shortened playtime and TV time. Or, you can ground your children for a specific period. Be consistent and enforce these rules. Do not make exceptions and hold your children to the rules. This helps your children realize their mistakes and be more responsible in the future.
4. Create a Sense of Belonging
Use “we” instead of “you” when having talks with your children about responsibilities. Assign them small household chores. These can be as simple as picking up toys, sorting their laundry, and cleaning their bedrooms. These can also be cleaning up after themselves after lunch or dinner. Or cleaning their messes like spilt milk or scattered shoes.
After some time, assign your children a bit more complex tasks. Pitch in, if they need help but let them do the major share of the work. This builds confidence in your children. They also realize that they are an essential part of the family. Your children understand that they are not alone and you are there to help them. Responsibility is not a burden anymore if you are there to share it with your children.
5. Teaching Empathy
Empathy is an essential character trait to teach your children. It’s about learning about the feelings of others. With empathy, your children can imagine how their actions could affect others. Maybe they made fun of someone or hurt them. With empathy, your children realize how the other party feels. By teaching empathy, you teach your children to own up to their mistakes. This makes your children responsible, and aware of their actions.
6. Teach Problem Solving
How to teach a child to take responsibility for their actions? Teach them problem-solving so they can rectify their mistakes. Assist them with their problems but let them fix these problems themselves. Your children gain confidence when they resolve these issues on their own. With confidence, your children do not pass the blame to others. They accept their mistakes and take ownership of their actions.
So, these are some of the ways to make your children more responsible. This process will take time, so you need to have loads of patience. Keep track of the process and praise your children on their progress. You can also reward your children with simple things like extended playtime or more screen time. With time, your children will be more responsible and also boost their self-esteem and confidence.
How to Teach a Child to Take Responsibility for Their Actions
Preschool age is between 3 to 5 years. At this stage, your children are curious and want to do things on their own. They start questioning things and forming their opinions. They also start to manage their emotions and self-regulate. Your preschool kids start to learn social skills and make their first friends.
Preschool age is the right time to create a strong base of their character.
At this age, your preschool children imitate and follow you. They take in all your teachings. You can shape your children’s character any way you want as it is the perfect time to instil good values in them.
Good values and strength of character will help your children in their life. From preschool to early school, and from teenage to adult life, good character protects your children all the way. It helps them to follow rules which with time makes them into honest and hardworking humans. It guides them not to indulge in bad habits.
So, how do you build good character in your children? The answer is through games, tasks, and learning activities for preschoolers. These simple tasks teach good values like hard work, kindness, empathy and honesty.
These tasks are not hard and do not take much time. Children can practise these tasks daily. And these are different, so your kids will enjoy them and not be bored.
In this blog, we will explore more about character building, and its needs for preschoolers. We will also look into different character-building activities for preschoolers.
Table of Contents
What Is Character Building in Children?
Character building means instilling good moral values and qualities in your children. These values and skills make them mentally strong. Your children become good at teamwork.
Your children develop a sense of duty and solve problems on their own.
In time, your children create their own ethical rules and follow them in life. Your children develop a strong moral compass. This not only benefits them but also their families, friends, and the world at large.
A good character helps them to succeed in life.
Need for Character Building in Children
Character building and learning activities for preschoolers are essential for every aspect of their life. Have a look at some of the major benefits of character building for your children.
1. Shield from Bad Habits
In this modern world, children get exposed to negative habits like always watching T.V. or playing games on mobile phones throughout the day. You cannot be with them 24/7. Character building protects your kids from developing bad habits. It gives them strength to combat bad habits and develop good ones.
A good character lays the base for positive self-growth in your children. Your children develop inner strength, courage, and self-belief. All these positive traits gained from character building prepare your children for the future.
3. Manage their Emotions
Preschool children are curious. They ask a lot of questions. They want to do things on their own but still need your help. They are trying to understand the world but are still naïve.
Preschool years are both an exciting and confusing time for your children. They develop strong emotions that are difficult for them to manage. Here is where your guidance helps them in character building. Character-building tasks build emotional intelligence (EI) in children. EI helps your children be aware of, manage and convey their emotions. With EI, your children learn to control their emotions and become well-adjusted.
4. Prepares them for School
Character building prepares your preschool children for school as well. Your children learn to work hard and focus from an early age. They develop discipline and become self-driven.
Your kids learn to get along well with others and also respect their elders. Character building gets them ready in advance. When your children join schools, they adjust easily and do well in class.
5. Create Strong Bonds and Improve Social Skills
Good character means learning and following good values. These values include helping others, sharing, and empathy. All these values build strong bonds.
E.g., when your children practice empathy, they try to see from another person’s viewpoint. This person can be you, any other family member, or their friends. Your children throw fewer tantrums and fight less with their friends.
When your children help others, they also get help when needed. This way, your kids’ social skills improve and they make good friends.
Your kids feel needed and valued, which raises their self-esteem and confidence too. They are happy and socially well-adjusted.
6. Set them Up for Life
Character-building activities for preschoolers set them up for life. Your children build good habits from an early age. They develop a sense of right, wrong and fair play.
Your kids learn to make good decisions like, eating healthy foods, following rules and obeying their elders’ advice which benefits them in life.
Some other good habits include working hard, not getting distracted, and developing focus. Your children develop self-control, self-esteem, and a growth mindset.
All these good habits and values lead to their growth. It sets your children up for success from the start.
So, these are a few among many benefits of building character in your preschool children.
How to Go About Character Building for Preschool Children
Let’s explore how to implement character-building in your kids’ daily lives.
1. Practice What You Preach
Preschool children pick things up pretty fast. They observe, copy, and imitate you within no time.Your actions can be good and not-so-good. So, use the situation to your advantage by practicing what you want them to do. This way, you can pass on healthy habits and good character traits to your children.
2. Include Your Children Too
You are their role-model now, so try to include your children in character-building tasks too. You can start by including them in the small acts of charity. Encourage your children to feed the pets and respect each and all.
Your children will enjoy doing these simple tasks. Also, make full use of these moments to teach good values to your children. When your children do wrong, explain what they did, and the outcome of their action.
Explain the hurt or the damage they caused. Teach them why it is wrong and what they can do to correct it. All these tasks in small ways build good character in your children.
3. Praise When Its Due
Praise your children’s good deeds and acts. The acts can be simple. Like helping you or others in their chores. Or telling the truth or waiting for their turn without throwing tantrums. Explain to your children why their actions are good. Praise your kids in front of the family.
Encourage them to do such deeds regularly. Link this act to the good character trait you want your kids to have. This nudge helps your children to make these actions a habit and also raises their self-esteem.
4. Use Stories and Learn from the Past
Include stories and fables in character-building and learning activities for preschoolers. Kids love stories and these are a fun way to teach good habits and values. And at the end of each story session, discuss the story.
Ask your children about their favourite characters in these stories. Ask them if the actions of characters in stories are right or wrong. If the actions are wrong, then ask your kids how they could have corrected them. You can also make this fun task personal by sharing stories of your family and friends. You can build a family tree. Write bits about the good character traits your forefathers had. Tell your kids about the life they led.
The children will also be inspired by the good values that their elders had. They will try to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.
5. Use the Words
This is one of the simple but effective character-building activities for preschoolers. Teach your children the meaning of the traits that develop good character. The term ‘traits’ is difficult for your preschool children to understand. By teaching them the meaning, they can connect these words to their good habits and actions.
You can make a painting or collage of a specific trait or virtue. Paint the picture in a way that explains the meaning of that virtue. Also, explain the actions tied with it.
This painting will help your preschool children get a clear idea about a positive character trait. This nudges them to develop these traits and values. This task builds a good and strong character in the process.
So, these are some points to follow to build good character in children. Now, let’s explore some value-based character-building tasks and games for preschoolers below.
Value-Based Character Building Tasks for Your Preschool Children
For character-building activities for preschoolers, create fun games and tasks around these themes. Play these games and tasks daily for a few minutes. And watch these values take hold and develop good character in your children.
During these tasks and games discuss these values and virtues with your kids. With time, they will join the dots and understand the real meaning behind these virtues.
Teach your preschool children about empathy with a simple task. Empathy means trying to understand other people’s problems and concerns. Start with the demo where you describe to your kids some specific situations.
Let’s say, after you deny them their favourite TV show or excess candies, you explain to the children how they feel in that situation. They will be surprised to see that you describe their feelings correctly.
Then ask your kids to try the same. Ask them how their parents feel when they come home after work. Ask them how grandpa feels after his knees ache. Ask your kids to imagine how they would feel if they had knee pain or they came home after working the whole day. Then ask them to describe it in their own words, the feelings and emotions they imagine.
Slowly expand the circle wider and include other friends, family members, and even pets. Give them examples to imagine other situations as well.
With this task, your preschool children will begin to understand others’ viewpoints. Your children develop empathy this way and become more selfless and kinder.
2. Sharing & Kindness
Sharing and kindness come right after empathy in learning activities for preschoolers. With empathy, your children start feeling what the others are going through. It pushes the children to care for others and help them.
Start with asking your kids to share their toys with their siblings and friends. Ask them how they feel after playing together. Your kids will learn that sharing leads to more fun and joy.
Next, take your kids to charity drives and make them feed stray animals and birds. Explain to them the good it does.
Create a diary and ask your kids to share any acts of kindness they did. Write these acts down and at the end of the month organize a small event. Sit your children together and describe these acts of kindness to all present.
Reward your children with the greatest number of acts of kindness. Give the winner some reward and ask them to share with others too. All these tasks develop the spirit of sharing and kindness in your preschool children. It also builds compassion and concern for others and builds the base for good character.
3. Honesty & Truth
Preschoolers at this age start making stories. They will imagine wild things, and may even lie. And lying becomes a concern.
If left unchecked, it may lead to more serious issues in the future. Teach your kids to speak the truth and be honest. Speak the truth and ask your children to do the same. Encourage them to confess to their mistakes and be straight with you.
At the end of the day, ask your children to describe their day in full. What they did, what they liked to do, and what they hated to do. Ask your kids the reasons behind their actions and feelings.
Do not talk down to them. But try to explain your side and understand their point of view as well. This helps your children get comfy with you. They will develop conviction and will be empowered to tell the truth and be honest.
Gratitude is a virtue that creates a positive outlook in your kids. It offers so many benefits if instilled from an early age. It reduces frustration, raises peace and contentment, and makes your children mentally strong.
Your children prize their things and get joy out of it. They begin to learn to value the things and goals they will achieve in the future. And you can develop this value through simple character-building activities for preschoolers.
E.g., take some fruits and share them with your children. Ask them how these fruits taste. Tell your kids how fruits make them healthy and strong.
Then ask them how they got the fruits. Let them imagine all the situations. Then explain to them the role of fruit growers, pickers, packers, and suppliers. Next, come the fruit vendors and even you who bought the fruits.
Tell your children how much effort all these people make. Ask your children to respect the hard work done by all these people. Tell them how you all are grateful to receive such food.
You can do a similar task with other items too. These can be edible, or even toys or other things of comfort and luxury. The process remains the same. Point out the people or services that helped bring these goods to your children.
Ask your children to think about what other things they are grateful for. This is an active task for your children. These tasks develop gratitude and good character in your children. They grow into well-adjusted people who are calm and at peace with themselves.
5. Hard work
Through learning activities for preschoolers, you can teach them the value of hard work. Include your preschool children in simple household chores. These can include passing you socks and small pieces of clothing for laundry. These can also be passing you veggies and fruits to cut or condiments while cooking. If possible, ask your kids to help set the plates before meals.
Also, whenever your kids achieve something, praise them for the efforts they put into it. These can be games or a puzzle to play with their friends. This way, your kids put in hard work and effort instead of just relying on their talents and intellect.
It also helps develop a growth mindset in your preschool children. Now, your kids start believing in achieving anything through hard work.
6. Caring and Service for Others
Caring and service for others are great character traits you can instil in your children. These can be fun activities for preschoolers like creating handmade birthday cards for their siblings, grandpas and grandmas, aunts, uncles, and primary caregivers.
Ask your children why they care about their loved ones. Write it down on the cards they create. Other simple tasks include doing small bits of kindness.
Take your children to charity drives, old age homes, or NGOs where they require volunteers. Spend some time there and let your children see what difference they make. All these acts create a sense of caring and service to others in your children.
7. To Forgive
To forgive is a value that can do wonders for your kids’ characters. When you let go and forgive someone, it calms your mind and removes mental blockages. Not forgiving someone builds up grudges and resentments.
These lead to unhealthy emotions and bad mental health. Instil the value of forgiveness in your children from the start. You can teach this value through a simple game.
Take a toy car and some square blocks or stones. Ask your kids to place these stones in the car’s path and drive the toy cars. Then tell your children that these blocks or stones signify grudges. The car is the happy life that gets blocked due to the grudges they hold.
These grudges are created due to not forgiving someone. Tell your children they will be happier if they let go of past grudges. But ensure that your children do not fall for the same mistakes again and again. Teach your children to forgive others but not be gullible.
8. Bravery and Courage
Bravery and courage are essential positive character traits to teach your children. Without these traits, it is difficult for people to find their place in the world. And you can teach these traits to your children through these learning activities for preschoolers.
Ask your kids to try out new things, nudge them but do not force them. Be with them at every step of the way to ensure their safety. These should be simple tasks like climbing a small ladder or using a small swing. It can also be making new friends or playing with the pets of friends. But ensure that the pets are gentle and calm and not aggressive. As the safety of your children comes first.
If your children are playing some games/puzzles, let them finish them on their own. Do not butt in and offer to finish these games and puzzles yourselves. This builds confidence in your children and they learn to do things on their own. Your children become self-reliant. They have faith in themselves and do not feel helpless in any situation.
10. Courtesy, Good Manners, and Respect for All
Teach courtesy and good manners through this tasty and fun task. Give your children a special treat one piece at a time. Teach them to request a piece by adding ‘please’ while asking.
When they receive the treat, then teach them to say ‘thank you’. Do the same to your children when they help you with something. When you want their help, say ‘please’, and ‘Thank You’ afterwards. Explain to your children why you are thanking them in the first place.
Also, ask your children to practice the same with their siblings, maids, helpers and others. Follow the same courtesy for all, including people of all classes and jobs. These tasks teach your children common courtesies, good manners, and respect for all. These are the essential traits that form good character in your children.
So, these are some of the character-building and learning activities for preschoolers. These are simple tasks that you can include in your children’s daily lives. These simple tasks instil in your children the right moral values and build good character. Having a good character protects your children from the bad in this world. A good character and strong moral values set them on the right path. It is the basis for your children to build a successful future and be good human beings.
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