Boys Become Men :: Teaching my Son Responsibility

Raising kids is hard. Raising a pre-teen boy makes me want to pull my hair out most of the time. I am new to this adventure of pre-teens — it is complete with mood swings, BO, and preferring a smart phone over a conversation.

Pre-teens think that they are old enough to make their own decisions but struggle with asking for help when needed. We like to encourage smart decision-making, and our son is responsible for his schedule. So if he wants to go to an after school activity, he needs to make sure he asks permission, arranges transportation and reminds said parent that is transporting him to pick him up the day of. Now you may think this is a lot for an 11-year-old to handle, but we have discovered that the more invested our son is in HIS schedule/life the more likely he will fully think and process before agreeing to an activity.

Photograph by Julep Studio

We also have weekly, monthly and as-needed chores around our house. You see that wonderful smart phone you love so much … well it doesn’t come free! We all contribute to our household running smoothly – Mom, Dad, Preteen and Kindergartener. Our responsibilities vary, but most weekends you can find us working on some sort of household project (ESPECIALLY since the flood in August as we are still recovering). I think this shows my kids what it takes to run a household. Micah knows how to do basic household tasks. I want him to grow into a man who knows how to take care of himself.

Our son wakes up every morning on his own with an alarm clock. Gone are the days of getting him dressed asleep (yes, I did this … he has always loved to sleep) and putting him in the car to head to school. He wakes up every day at 5:45am to get dressed, brush his teeth and get ready for school. He will have to do it soon anyway – now seems like a good time!

I find that teaching my son to be responsible for himself at a young age shows him that regardless of what the world throws at you – YOU are responsible for your actions.

There are a lot of things that I hope my child learns from me and my husband, and responsibility is one of them. I also hope and pray that I raise loving kids who grow into loving and accepting adults, and I think responsibility is one step towards our goal. Our kids will be grown-ups sooner than we would like; let’s do our part to help equip them to be the best that they can be!

Tiffany is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Desmond. Together they get to play the roles of Mommy and Daddy to Micah, a gifted Math Wiz of a teenager who is always making people laugh, and Keilyn, a spunky, flower loving, dancing girl who will stop and talk to anyone she meets. She was born and raised in Baton Rouge and has Cajun blood running through her veins. She works full time outside of the home in business administration. She started the journey of motherhood young but wouldn’t have it any other way. Her children have taught her to laugh, play and that sometimes it’s ok not to have a plan! She has a passion for teenagers and is an active mentor in her church’s youth group. In her rare free time she enjoys shopping, coffee, and date nights with her husband. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and enjoys meeting new people, making people laugh, and spending time with friends and family.


  1. This is how I was raised and how I’m striving to raise my children. My kids are 5 and 1 so we aren’t there yet, but what I am wondering (and can’t remember from my own childhood), is when and how did you start implementing this? What did you do when you were first starting to let him take over the responsibility of getting up and getting ready for school, particularly if he didn’t do it? Did you wake him up or just let him be late?

    • Hi Danielle!

      I started implementing this around 6 years old. At the start of 1st grade we talked about how my son is now responsible for getting himself up and ready. I would set an alarm for about 20min before he needed to actually get up at first in his room. It would go off and I’d make sure he got up. Most mornings, he got up fine. If he needed a little help – I’d help – we all deserve a little grace 🙂

      Eventually he got the hang of it and didn’t need my help but keep in mind it’s a marathon not a sprint so it might take a few weeks or months depending on the child.


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