Monday, March 4, 2013

How to Teach Children Responsible Behavior

I have been really surprised by how irresponsible our society has become—especially in the highschool and college venue.  Twenty-five years ago, my professors didn’t take excuses, you just got a zero.  Now high schoolers and college students can talk their way into extensions and prompting the answer to test questions from the instructor and other forms of CHEATING.  From what I hear, cheating is a real problem in high schools and colleges everywhere.  Apparently it’s a problem in the work force as well.  I think cheating is a form of being irresponsible.

Responsibility and other character issues will be taught by me to my own children now, and the children in my care when I am a teacher.  In the 1990’s, Character Education became important to many Americans.  There was even a movement—I remember getting these great little books and tapes on different character traits every time we went to Chick-Fil-A for kid’s meals.  (I believe there was an immoral president in office at the time?) 

Responsibility is a character trait that I feel needs more emphasis in schools since fewer children attend church regularly and have a very good chance of not being taught responsibility at home.  In a recent education class to recertify, I learned something new about teaching children responsible behavior. 

It was so exciting I immediately made a chart to use in my future class.  Hellison (2011) is cited in the textbook, Dynamic Physical Education for Elementary School Children (Robert P. Pangrazi and Aaron Beighle 2013).  On pages 108-110, the text gives a very good breakdown of his hierarchy of responsible behavior we can teach children.  I found this very enlightening for myself even! 

I’m sharing the chart I created with my D.J. Inker’s Dazzle Daze (2000) graphics I bought (I love her artwork!)  I had a little Family Home Evening lesson with the family and gave each of them a handout with the hierarchy of responsible behavior.  Then I also permanently displayed the chart on the front door.  We discussed what each level beginning with 0 would look like in real life and gave real examples.  Then we judged where we might be on this scale.  It’s a very real possibility that in different aspects of our lives we could be in more than one place.  The goal is to accomplish all levels leading up to the highest as the most desirable responsibility traits to attain.  Of course there might be setbacks to overcome.  I tried to put the chart in terms that even First Graders could relate to and understand.

Hierarchy of Responsible Behavior Printable

How do you help your children learn responsibility and do you think people are becoming less responsible in today's world than they were even a decade or two ago?


Dianna said...

Thank you for sharing this! I want to use it with my first-grade son: I think it will make some things easier for him to understand.

Heather A. said...

First-graders are so adorable and that is exactly the age-level I had in mind when I put my printable together. Thanks for your comment!


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