Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shares How to Teach Kids Responsibility: The Five Essential E’s! Part 1 of 5: Example

This week we proudly announced the release of our long-awaited DVD. After pouring everything we have into this disc, we are now able to celebrate our grand release and share this with all of you. In revel of this exciting event, we are hosting this free blog series on the Five Essential E's to Raising Responsible Children. This blog series is filled with information normally taught in our classes and seminars, as well as in our DVD. We hope you will find some light in this information and can apply these techniques with your children at home. Please follow our blog by subscribing to the RSS feed or by email (in the right column) to get updated on future series posts!


A common question we often have is how to teach kids responsibility. This is an important question for all children and especially when children have special healthcare needs. Motivating children to take responsibility for their self-care is especially critical when medical adherence is at stake. So, how can parents raise responsible kids who take good care of themselves? Love and Logic® teaches us to use five easily understood, practical, and effective skill sets: The Five Essential E's: Example, Experience, Empathy, Expectations, and Encouragement. 

You might hear us talk about the Five Essential E’s throughout our blogs, website, social media, and other resources and there is a reason for that: they are the foundation for raising responsible, happy, healthy children. We, as parents, want to avoid the typical parenting responses of rant, rave, and rescue – as hard as it may be – and focus instead on The Five Essential E’s of Raising Responsible Kids™.
Because the E's form the foundation of effective parenting, we are going to run a blog and video series over the next few weeks to reacquaint or introduce you to the Five Essential E's. Starting with..... Example!
Example means to show our children how to be respectful and responsible by asking ourselves, “Am I being the way I want my children to be?” By treating others and ourselves the way we want our children to treat others and themselves, we are creating an example for them to follow.

A great way to make an example of ourselves is to mutter small things like “Gees, I think I’m watching too much TV. I don’t want to turn into a couch potato so I'd better turn it off!” Or, “I really want that chocolate cake, but it’s just not good for me, so I guess I’m going to pass on it.”

This technique helps us avoid ranting, raving and lecturing and increases the odds of our children listening to us and imprinting our comments on themselves. If we were to rant, rave, nag, complain, or lecture about watching too much TV or eating too many sweets, we would automatically create a mental wall between us and our children which inhibits their ability to make good decisions on their own.

Lisa shares how she used the power of example for flu shots. She would take her kids with her for her own shot and say things like, "I sure hate shots but I know it's important so I'm going to get one today. I'm going to be brave. Will you hold my hand to help me feel better?" The kids would hold her hand and help her be brave. To this day, years later, her daughter likes to see Mom get her flu shot and still holds her hand. And, Mom still doesn't like those shots but does it anyway.

Another important part of example is to set limits around how your children treat you. If you allow them to treat you with disrespect, talk rudely, or be demanding (instead of asking politely), you are setting the example that "it's okay to allow others to treat you badly."  Children learn how to handle "nasty people" by observing how we handle them- including when that "nasty person" is them!

So set the example being respectful, responsible, healthy, and fun to be with and you'll increase the odds that your children will do the same. 

Watch a video of Dr. Cline and Lisa Greene discussing Example. 
If you are having trouble viewing this video, please click here or visit:
Foster W. Cline, MD is a child psychiatrist and co-founder of Love and Logic®. Lisa C. Greene is a parent educator and mom of two children with cystic fibrosis. Together they have written the award-winning book “Parenting Children with Health Issues." Visit
© Copyright by Foster Cline, MD and Lisa Greene. All rights reserved. 


  1. Ooo, nice post. Thanks for the tips. I was just telling Rachel's CF clinic team about your blog.

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing! That let's me know we are doing something right ;)

  3. Good way to teach children is to let them have experience~~~


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