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You can help your child develop the trait of responsibility by using the six E's:

1.  Explain it.  Talk about what responsibility means.  Give some examples.

2.  Examine it.  Look for examples of responsibility.  Did a character on a TV show take responsibility for his actions?  Point it out and talk about it.

3.  Exhibit it.  Your personal example is still the strongest way you teach.

4.  Encourage it.  Help your child think about ways she can be responsible.  She could pick up her room every day.  Be sure you notice and praise her.  When she does her homework without nagging, say something.

5.  Expect it.  Set rules and consequences.  Now that she knows what you expect, make sure she follows through.  Make sure there are consequences if she doesn't.

6.  Evaluate it.  How is she doing?  After a few weeks, talk again.

Source:  Thomas Lickona, Character Matters
Last Updated: 8/21/09

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