At Fairmont Private Schools, we have a set of values we teach all of our students to live by. One of those values is “commitment.” It’s important for children to learn that, once they’ve given someone their word, they are expected to follow through. Parents can teach their child “commitment” through examples and by giving them their own chances to follow through.
Set an Example
The easiest way to teach your child “commitment“ is to set an example. Follow through on your own commitments and make them to your children so they can see what it means for you to keep your word. Explain to them that commitments can mean hard work, but it’s important for your family that commitments are kept. Examples could be, commitments to work, to help with the Fairmont Parent Association (or PTA), to volunteer on the weekends, to finish household duties throughout the week, or even fun plans like committing to a movie night with your kids once a week or to a Disneyland trip for the next family vacation.
Read/Share Stories About “Commitment”
Another way to teach your child about “commitment” is to take a moment to pause during storytime when characters keep or fail to keep a commitment. Discuss why this is a good or bad thing and how the action of keeping or failing to keep the commitment affects the other characters in the story. Ask them how they’d feel if they had been the one let down by the character and problem solve how the commitment could have been kept.
Give Them Chances to Keep Their Own Commitments
After seeing examples, children should learn to keep their own commitments. If you don’t already, give them weekly chore commitments. It could be as simple as asking your child to commit to keeping their room clean or committing to a weekly list of household chores. Pets are another way to exemplify “commitment”. If you have a pet, or are thinking about getting one, make sure to remind your child that taking care of their pet is a large commitment. Getting a dog, cat, or even a hamster, requires years of commitment to feed, wash, nurture, love, pick up after, and provide healthcare for. Other ways children can make their own commitments is by volunteering weekly or monthly, or making commitments to after school activities like sports teams or music lessons. If your kids ever show interest in quitting or giving up on a commitment, explain to them why it’s important they persevere, at least until the end of the sports season or final music recital.
Teaching and exemplifying “commitment” develops your child’s character and builds up their value system while teaching them how to interact with others in a fruitful and beneficial way.