Responsibility Lesson for Kids: Definition & Quotes

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Are you a responsible person? What does it mean to be 'responsible?' Read on to find out about responsibility and consequences, and how you can learn to be more responsible.

Responsibilities and Consequences

A responsibility is something that you have a duty to do, and that you're expected to do. For example, it might be your job to feed your dog or wash the dishes.

People have many responsibilities. Parents are responsible for taking care of their children; you might be responsible for taking out the garbage, keeping your room clean, or setting the table for dinner.

Chores are responsibilities.

What happens if you don't do your job? We would say that you 'didn't meet your responsibilities.' When you don't meet your responsibilities, there are consequences. If it's your responsibility to feed your hamster, what might happen if you don't do it? Your hamster will get sick or might even die. That's a consequence of you not meeting your responsibility. If you're supposed to do your homework, but don't, the consequence might be that you will get a poor grade.

Why Should You Be More Responsible?

Let's pretend that your best friend has asked you to help him with his science project on Saturday afternoon. You promise to help. On Saturday morning, your sister asks you to go to the movies with her. You've a decision to make. You really want to go to the movies, but you promised you would help your friend. The responsible thing to do would be to help your friend. It's not what you want to do, but it's the right thing to do.

Sometimes being responsible means you have to do something you don't want to do, such as cleaning your room, when you'd rather be doing something else. What would happen if you did whatever you wanted without worrying about your responsibilities? If you went to the movies with your sister instead of helping your friend, what would happen? Your friend would probably be upset with you. The next time you promised that you would do something, would he believe you? Probably not. If you aren't responsible, other people don't trust you.

Meet your responsibilities.

Sometimes it's hard to take responsibility for your own actions. Let's say you're playing baseball with your friends and you hit the ball...right through your neighbor's window! Your neighbor isn't home. He didn't see who broke the window. You could easily go home and not say anything about it...OR you could take responsibility for your actions. When your neighbor comes home, you can tell him you are sorry you broke his window and explain how it happened, then offer to help do chores to pay for a new window. That would be the responsible thing to do.

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