Helping Your Child Develop Accountability

Don’t we all want our children to grow up to be adults who have a sense of accountability? Don’t we all desire for our kids to become individuals who are mindful of their actions and decisions because they know for a fact that everything they do has their corresponding effect/consequence? I believe that every parent who does not want his/her child to become a delinquent, law-breaker would answer yes to all these questions.

While most of us will acknowledge the importance of helping our kids develop a sense of responsibility and accountability, how this can be done is quite unclear to many. Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting tells us one thing that she thinks can never teach children  accountability–punishment. She says in her post, “Why Punishment Doesn’t Teach Your Child Accountability,” “Punishment creates an external locus of control — the authority figure. The child actually comes to see the parent as responsible for making her behave, rather than taking responsibility for her behavior as her own choice.”

What do you think are effective and ineffective ways to help our children develop a strong sense of accountability?