Parenting Articles about Accountability & Responsibility

Teach your children about accountability and responsibility with the advice in our many articles, blog posts and podcasts on the subject. Learn what "being accountable" really means—and why it's vital to teach it to your child. Teen responsibility isn't just a dream. Step by step advice from straight-talking experts.
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Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement

Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement

“I love my son, but things are getting really rough. I never expected him to still be living at home in his twenties. I don’t mind helping him while he gets on his feet, but most of the time he acts like he’s still thirteen – and he’s twenty three! This is not what I pictured!”

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Parenting Teens: 5 Ineffective Things to Avoid Doing

Parenting Teens: 5 Ineffective Things to Avoid Doing

At Empowering Parents, we talk a lot about “effective” versus “ineffective” parenting styles. In fact, James Lehman reminds us that it’s not about whether your parenting style is right or wrong, it’s about whether it’s effective.

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Positive Parenting: 5 Rules to Help You Deal with Negative Child Behavior More Positively

Positive Parenting: 5 Rules to Help You Deal with Negative Child Behavior More Positively

Do your kids drive you crazy? If you were asked to describe them, after saying, He's a good kid, but... would you use words like “defiant,” “whiny,” “unmotivated,” “disrespectful,” “angry,” or “demanding,” with a few positives sprinkled in? If the negatives loom larger in your mind than the positives, the first thing to realize is that this is natural. We parents are human after all, which means we tend to look for what’s wrong with our offspring so that we can focus on what we should “fix” in them. Somehow this calms us down; we believe we are improving their chances of long-term survival in an often difficult world.

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Signs of Parental Abuse: What to Do When Your Child or Teen Hits You

Signs of Parental Abuse: What to Do When Your Child or Teen Hits You

Jennifer’s son began hitting her when he was 14 years old. “I just didn’t know what to do,” she told us. “If anyone else had hit me, I would have called the police. But this was my son! I didn’t want him arrested but I wanted the abuse to stop. I was ashamed to admit to my family what was going on and I knew they would take action, even if I didn’t. The situation was intolerable but I couldn’t take action. I felt trapped, like I was in a car without brakes.”

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In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent

In Over Your Head? How to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Regain Control as a Parent

Recently, a frustrated mom sat in my office and said, “I just don’t know what to do anymore. We’ve tried everything! There’s no punishment that gets through to our child; there’s nothing we can say that will fix her behavior. There’s so much going on we just don’t know where to start.” Sound familiar? Parents often get by on intuition and advice from others, but let’s face it–that’s not always enough, especially if you have a child who doesn’t respond well to your attempts to manage their behavior.

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Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Afraid Your Child Won't Make It in the Real World? How to Help Your Child Transition to Adulthood

Karen hasn’t slept through the night in years—she’s too worried about her son Mason making it through high school. He tried two different schools and now takes online classes, but that's not working, either. Karen has resorted to sitting with him for three hours every night (after coming home from her full-time job) to help him through his homework. She’s given up trying to make him take the ACT or SAT tests for college. Karen’s just focused on one goal—Mason graduating from high school. She’s not sure what will come after that.

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Parenting Lessons You Learn Along the Way: A Message from Janet Lehman

Parenting Lessons You Learn Along the Way: A Message from Janet Lehman

Another year has passed. It’s a time to look back over what has happened, what we’ve done and what we’ve learned…and to look forward to the future.

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6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

If you have a child or teen who misbehaves, the holidays can be a source of infinite stress and anxiety. Your individual expectations of the holidays can be seriously at odds: you expect to have a nice, shared time with your whole family and maybe attend some larger family gatherings; they expect to get every gift they demand, and they intend to spend their school break staying up late, sleeping in, and playing video games. The resulting holiday season can be filled with tantrums, obnoxious behavior, and lots of yelling and screaming.

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Demanding Children and Teens: Is Entitlement Just a Stage?

Demanding Children and Teens: Is Entitlement Just a Stage?

Your 10-year-old son begs you to buy him the newest video game. He cries, “All my friends have it. Why can’t you be like all the other parents? They buy their kids the stuff they want!” Or, your 16-year-old daughter is annoyed that she has to drive the old beat up Chevy to school. “I don’t want to be seen in this piece of junk! Have you seen what kind of cars the other kids drive!?”

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5 Steps to Giving Effective Consequences to Young Kids

5 Steps to Giving Effective Consequences to Young Kids

When the young child in your house breaks the rules, do you find yourself frustrated and confused about the next step to take? The key to creating better behavior at this tender age is to begin teaching your child the concept of consequences. There’s no better time than now to help yourkidsunderstand that their behavior, both positive and negative, has an effect on others. Keep reading to discover five helpful tips that make giving consequences to easier and lesspainful for everyone involved.

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Screen Time: Using Technology as a Consequence or Reward for Your Child

Screen Time: Using Technology as a Consequence or Reward for Your Child

It's important to understand that you can’t getyour childto care about homework, choresor hygiene just because you do. What you can do is help them complete those tasks and reach certain goals regardless of how they feel about them. You do this by offering something important to them, in order to get them to complete something important to you. What do kids value? Screen time. In other words, phone, Internet, TV andvideo games.

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Why Fixing Things For Your Child Doesn’t Help

Why Fixing Things For Your Child Doesnt Help

Over the years, I’ve talked with countless parents who “fixed” things for their children—cleaning their rooms, picking up left-behind messes around the house, apologizing for their kids, easing their disappointments, or even typing their teen’s school papers because they could “type faster.” I recall talking to a mother who would stop what she was doing (which sometimes meant getting out of bed at night) to prepare elaborate snacks for her adolescent son when he was hungry, even though he was more than capable of making his own food.

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4 Tips to Help Get Kids to Clean Their Rooms

4 Tips to Help Get Kids to Clean Their Rooms

“My 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom is so awful it looks like a tornado just ripped through it! When I ask her to clean it up, she either ignores me or starts screaming at me.” If this sounds like your child, you are not alone. It’s incredibly frustrating to deal with a kid who is refusing to take care of her space. So what’s a parent to do? Read on for more information and ideas that will help.

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Angel Child or Devil Child? When Kids Save Their Bad Behavior for You

Angel Child or Devil Child? When Kids Save Their Bad Behavior for You

Have you ever heard someone talk about how well-behaved your child is and thought in disbelief, “Excuse me? Are you talking about my kid?” While we usually enjoy hearing good things about our children, being told that your child is an angel by others can be confusing and frustrating when she’s out of control at home. It’s one thing if your child acts out in a variety of places or situations, but it’s a completely different thing when it feels like her anger is directed at you and only you, all the time. When your child saves her bad behavior for you it feels personal and it cuts deep, but the good news is that you have the power to change your situation. Keep reading to find out how.

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