Animals will teach your children more about being responsible than you possibly can. A year ago, I decided to bring a hen and her 10 chicks home. I wanted the children to experience what it is like to rear chicken and to take care of them.
A year later, I do not regret this decision. I hate the droppings in my compound and on my veranda, but my children have become more responsible looking after the chicken. The first attraction was the small birds, the chicks were so cute that they won their hearts.
They loved the chicks and they had compassion for them. They soon, however, discovered that as sweet as the chicks were, they required a lot of work. There is much work to do and, for some reason, they have stepped up to the task.
They have to clean the chicken house and remove the droppings. Then they have to feed the chicken on time. They also have to collect the eggs, all very interesting responsibilities that they do willingly, most of the time.
They have to watch out if the chicken are sick and they have to give them medicine and plenty of water to drink. The children also get excited when they see the chicken grow up. They have now become like an ornament around the house.
They know their fights, likes and dislikes. My friends who have dogs also tell me the same thing. Dogs teach the children to be more responsible and so do most pets. Giving children something they are responsible for is very helpful.
It is a training ground for responsibility. Think and see what you can do to nurture and build a sense of responsibility in the children.
Go with them to the farm. Let them dig up the cassava. Let them harvest the potatoes. Nothing will teach your child to be more responsible than practical opportunities you create and expose them to. I am thinking about bringing rabbits next year, to see what new things we can learn from them as well.