Character How to Teach Your Eight-Year-Old Responsibility

Responsibility means being dependable, making good choices, and taking accountability for your actions. A responsible citizen looks out for the well-being of others and understands we all have a part to play in making the world a better place. For an eight-year-old, responsibility might look like getting themselves ready for school, taking care of their belongings, helping with specific household chores, and looking for ways to be a helper at school and in the community.

Encourage your child to become a responsible helper:

Give Children Age-Appropriate Responsibilities

When children take on household jobs, they contribute to the family and learn important life skills. Work together on making a chart of responsibilities that they can take on, from organizing their backpack each day to putting away their laundry to feeding the dog. Teach them key skills — such as how to make simple healthy snacks or how to use the broom to clean up spills — to encourage their independence.

Encourage Your Child to "Be a Helper"

According to research, children who were asked to be "helpers" were significantly more responsive to requests than those who simply asked to "help." In other words, asking children, "Will you be a helper and clean up this room?" is more motivating to them than being told "Help clean up the room." Why? Children want to be viewed as helpers — it's an appealing idea that nurtures their sense of independence and responsibility. 

Build Good Character Skills with Arthur

Whether facing down a bully, worrying about a new teacher or being the very last person on earth to lose his baby teeth, Arthur and his friends manage to solve their crises with imagination, kindness and a lot of humor.

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Activity Finder: Learn With Your Eight-Year-Old

Explore our Age-by-Age Guide: