“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks but a new dog can learn an old trick.”

This is an old proverb that parents really follow and try by all means necessary to instil on their children’s upbringing. You ought to teach them whilst they are still young, for it’ll be hard for them to stray from your teachings when they are old.

Each and every family has its own set of rules that differ from other families. But when it comes to instilling responsibility in young children, it tends to be done similarly through chores. Most kids are given chores around the house to do, in order to learn and have some sense of responsibility.

Some parents make their children clean and take care of the garden. One which I personally like is granting them ownership of pets. Owning a pet really teaches the young ones responsibility in a major way. A kid will then be taught discipline, they will now start to manage their time wisely.

I had a pet and it taught me to care for others. I learnt that if I didn’t feed the dog, mom will not feed me either. So I always knew that a dog must be fed, washed and that it is entertained.

I spoke to Iketseng, a pet owner, to find out how she found the experience. Iketseng explained how she felt when her mother was giving her all these responsibilities.

“Well I was eight I think, when I had my first dog. Of course I’d sulk when she always let me do all this hard work while my peers were stress free. They did not own any pet, so they’d call me after school to go play and I’d refuse because I had to clean after the dog,” Iketseng laughs as she explains this.

She said that she’s thankful that her mother was firm on her because now she could proudly say that she’s a responsible adult and she would pass on her mother’s teachings to her children one day.

I also asked parents why it is necessary to instil responsibility in their kids.

“Well, no parent wants irresponsible children,” Matilda laughed. “I think it is crucially necessary for children to have some responsibility because we are actually training them to be on their own. We are not going to be here forever with them. So we actually want them to stand on their feet in order for them to survive,” she further explained.

Mduduzi also had a take on this. “Responsibility is a right. Every child has a right to be responsible and it’s a damn sure every child’s birth right,” he laughed as he said this.

Parents must give their children chores to do. Kids nowadays are not given any chores to do, all they do is social networking.

“We understand that computers are the future. But they also make our children lazy, mind blinded and ignorant,” commented Iketseng.

I’d like to conclude by saying that parents must look back, take part of their upbringing and mix it with these modern days we are currently living in and teach their children about responsibility. What I have realised, personally, is that we are quick to shout rights but we whisper responsibility. Children will be the first to tell their parents that it is their right to be free. But what is actually the responsibility of freedom? Does it mean you should disrespect your parents as you please because you have a right of freedom?

Parents, teach them whilst they are still young, they’ll never forget when they are old.


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