This month we will concentrate on the character concept, “responsibility.” Therefore, our power-chat discussions and activities will aim to help children understand the importance of fulfilling their obligations or doing jobs as well as of stepping up to do what is necessary even when it isn’t required.
Watch Dr. Robyn Silverman, developer of the Powerful Words program explain this month’s Powerful Word.
Responsible people get things done. They are Reliable, Accountable, and Dependable (RAD). We all want our children to be the kind of people who exercise responsible habits, initiate responsible behavior (even when nobody is looking) and demonstrate responsible choices and leadership tendencies. When we teach children to show responsibility, we are setting the foundation for a responsible lifestyle now and throughout adulthood.
We need to teach our children that responsible people don’t just do the jobs, chores, and requirements they committed to, but also do what needs to get done even when it’s not “their job.” These are things they should do simply because they need to get done. Responsible people…respond when they see a need! This is when responsibility and leadership converge. When people show responsibility, it encourages others to do the same. Responsible people become role models that set the standard. The more responsible people we have in our world, the better off we all are because when we’re responsible, we set off a chain reaction that affects many more people than just ourselves. Similarly, when we’re not responsible, it affects just as many people.
Children benefit from feeling responsible and having a responsibility towards others. Not only do they feel valued and included, but they also develop important skills. Learning responsibility can also have protective factors. A recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (September 2010) suggests that when we encourage positive parent-child communication and boost kids’ sense of responsibility to others, it might help maintain lower rates of substance use in young teens. Teaching responsibility helps everyone!
This month the definitions of responsibility are as follows:
- Young students: “I’m the one who gets things done!”
- Older students, teens and adults: Doing what is required, needed or expected of us.
During the four weeks of October we will be discussing the following:
- Week 1: How can I be responsible? Be RAD (Reliable, Accountable, Dependable).
- Week 2: How do I go above and beyond? Doing more than what’s required.
- Week 3: How do I own up? Being accountable for choices and consequences.
- Week 4: How can I be a responsible leader? Setting the example for others.
As always, one of the best ways to reinforce Powerful Words is by modeling strength of character ourselves. Share with your children how you show responsibility by being reliable, accountable, and dependable.
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