7 Techniques and Tips to Teach Children the Value of Commitment

Techniques for children to learn the value of commitment are essential for them to have a healthy emotional development. Discover these tips!
7 Techniques and Tips to Teach Children the Value of Commitment
Samanta Ruiz

Written and verified by the teacher Samanta Ruiz.

Last update: 23 September, 2022

Commitment is a value that results from a conscious and voluntary action. Therefore, even if your children are young, it’s important that you start with these techniques and tips so that they learn the value of commitment. This way, they’ll be able to expand their resources to develop healthy bonds.

Children understand what a commitment is around the age of 3, as explained in a research paper by the Society for Research in Child Development, published in ScienceDaily. For this reason, it’s important that we begin to educate our children about values at an early age, and this includes teaching them about responsibility, respect, empathy, and commitment.

You can start with these ideas and apply some techniques for children to learn commitment, in addition to other tips that are also beneficial.

Techniques to learn the value of commitment

“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of intentions…”

-Shearson Lehman-

Part of living in community requires the fulfillment of certain activities and tasks related to other people, oneself, school, or the home. These are the so-called commitments that are assumed and fulfilled in the pursuit of a greater goal: Learning to live together in society; being collaborative and cooperative.

But how can you teach children the value of commitment? Apply these simple techniques and they’ll start learning.

A young girl putting her blocks into a box.
Putting away toys, tidying up their room, or helping with household cleaning can be some of the tasks that children can commit to every day.

1. Assign small responsibilities

Daily household chores are a good practice field for children to learn the value of commitment. If your family has agreed on a division of chores and has committed to doing them, so be it. For example, on certain days, your child should do the dishes, make the bed, or tidy up their room after playing.

2. Manage chore times

It’s quite difficult for children to sustain certain activities for long periods of time. So, to help them keep their commitments, organize a block schedule of time for homework and rest. For example, you can use a system similar to the one used in the pomodoro technique.

3. Practice commitment in other areas

Children should learn that the value of commitment isn’t only about what’s done at home or at school. There are also other areas where they can be engaged and learn quite a bit. For example, being part of a theater group, a sports team, or any activity that requires meeting certain goals, whether group or individual.

4. Always lead by example

If children see that you keep your commitments and promises, they’ll surely follow your lead and become responsible adults.

5. Celebrate their efforts and achievements

When you teach them that the commitments they make must be fulfilled, they make the effort and achieve the goal. At such times, it’s best to congratulate them, reward them, and celebrate. This way, you recognize that they’ve done a great job in fulfilling their commitment. This attitude on your part helps them build their self-esteem.

A father high-fiving his daughter.
Congratulating children and also rewarding them for meeting their commitments helps build their self-esteem.

6. Motivate, be positive, and value effort

Don’t express yourself with negative words about your own commitments and encourage them to think positively about their own. When emotions overwhelm them because it’s difficult for them to make progress on a commitment, value their effort and motivate them with phrases like “you’re doing very well, just look again and you’re sure to see where the mistake is” or “you’re making progress on your own and that’s a great job”. Surely, you’ll think of many more things to tell them according to the child’s age.

7. Make clear the differences between commitments and obligations

Although the difference is subtle, commitments and obligations aren’t the same thing and this should be made clear to children. While an obligation is a universal statement without nuances such as “respect my teachers” or “don’t mistreat my classmates”, a commitment has a previous agreement, is fulfilled with certain guidelines, and can be adapted to each person.

The techniques and tips for children to learn to commit require patience

An important point in learning the value of commitment is that it can’t happen overnight. As it’s a teaching-learning process, it also requires patience. It’s not easy for a child to internalize abstract concepts and transform them into actions, nor is it easy for them to understand how others act with respect to commitments made.

The job of teaching children to commit is complex, but it’s also essential for them to have a healthy emotional development. We hope you find the techniques and tips we’ve shared here to be useful and that you can apply them at home to teach children what commitment is. Remember that education in values is part of the integral formation of your children.

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