We try to instill the idea of responsibility into the girls. We do the little things like making them clean up the playroom. (Although it usually sounds more like, "I didn't make the mess, so I'm not cleaning it. If you want your toys, you better put them away.) The girls have small chores to help them understand the "citizen of the house" responsibilities. I always tell them they need to take care of each other. ("You are sisters. Your job is to take care of each other, not to fight with each other.) We sent them to a nature-based preschool to help them understand how we are all responsible for the Earth.
Will it help? We don't know yet. The girls are only four years old, so we'll have to wait a while to see if what we are doing works. I do know that I just had a conversation with a student that made me think her parents would be proud of her sense of responsbility.
She didn't turn in her homework on time, so she didn't get any points. Instead of trying to convince me something terrible happened to her or giving me a song and dance, she simply said, "I know I didn't make the deadlines, so I understand I won't receive any points. If possible, I'd still like to have you look at my paper so I have some feedback for future assignments."
I was so impressed. She stood tall and looked me in the eyes when she spoke. She was calm and collected. She was clear about the consequences of her inactions.
I hope the girls grow up like this student. I'd like to look into my crystal ball to see if we're shaping them to be responsible like this young woman. Sadly, my crystal ball isn't working at the moment. So instead, I want to ask my student where she found her sense of responsibility. I won't because it's not an appropriate conversation, but I really would like to know.