10 Books to Help Children with Responsibility

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“Helping Children with Responsibility ” by Lisa Woods

Responsibly is something that is learned over time. Reading books about kids going through similar experiences can help!

Responsibly is something that is learned over time. Usually, parents start off with small chores to help children get used to contributing. They can help fold laundry, grocery shop, set the table, or lots of other little things. Kids love to help, and families can become a team when everybody pitches in. Sometimes, a lot of responsibility is put on kids through different circumstances like the death of a parent or a sibling with special needs and that can be tough to handle. Reading books about kids going through similar experiences can help. The list of books below covers all of these topics and more.

I Just Forgot (A Little Critter Book) by Mercer Mayer
I have always loved these Little Critter books. This one is a light-hearted approach to kids always saying they “forgot” to do their chores or other responsibilities. My kids always liked to point out where Little Critter went wrong and what he should have done. As with all the Little Critter books, it’s fun to try to find the spider and grasshopper on each page.

Even Superheroes Make Mistakes by Shelly Becker (Author), Eda Kaban (Illustrator)
Making mistakes is part of life, but kids can feel embarrassed or scared to admit it. This book shows how even superheroes can make mistakes and how they overcome them. The illustrations are fun, and the book does an excellent job of going over different mistakes and how to fix them.

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi
A great book about what to do when you make a mistake. Admitting it and helping to fix the problem not only makes you feel better, but it is the right thing to do. This funny book teaches about responsibility in an interesting way. Several animals try to outrun their problems, only find more challenges await. Luckily, they meet a little bird who helps them figure out how to handle things.

The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
This book is an oldie but a goodie. I used to read this to my brothers when they were little and then to my kids. It’s a book about the age-old problem of a messy room. No one wants to clean it, and there is a lot of disagreements about who should do what. Mom ends up cleaning it up herself until one day when she finally had enough. I am guilty of this myself, but I love the way she and Papa Bear solved the problem. They helped their kids organize their room so it would be easier to clean, and they could keep track of their toys better. If you’re not familiar with this series, you can check them out at the library. They have a book for almost every situation.

The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey
Dav Pilkey is an amazing author for kids. You may know him from the very popular Captain Underpants series. He has many other great books, including this one about a boy who has a job delivering newspapers. The boy in the story takes his job seriously, getting up early to prepare for his route, with his little dog by his side. This book takes me back to when I had my first paper route as a ten-year-old. Especially the part about rolling up the newspapers with a rubber band before heading out to deliver them.

Pigsty by Mark Teague
Wendell is a boy who does not like to clean up his room. His mom decides to let him keep it a mess and see how he likes it. After some actual pigs move in, it gets messy until even Wendell can’t stand it. When he decides the time has come to do something about it, he cleans his room with the help of his piggie pals. Pigsty is a great story about being responsible for your own area and keeping your toys in good condition.

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Strega Nona is a wonderful classic book that is as enjoyable today as it was when it was written in 1975. Strega Nona has to go away for work. While she’s gone, she leaves her helper, Big Anthony, in charge. He’s pretty irresponsible and runs into trouble right away. He uses Strega Nona’s magic pasta pot, but since he doesn’t know how to control it, chaos ensues. It’s a great story about responsibility, listening to directions, and taking care of other people’s property.

Rocky Road by Rose Kent
This book is geared towards middle schoolers and is about a 12-year-old having to be more grown-up than a kid should be. Tessa’s mom has undiagnosed bipolar disorder. This leaves Tessa in charge of her hearing-impaired younger brother and helping out her mom as best she can. They move to a small town in NY when her mom decides to use the last of their savings to open an ice cream shop. Rocky Road is a great book that gets you interested in the characters and caring about all the situations they find themselves in.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Boxcar Children is a great series and has been around since 1949. I read them when I was in middle school and loved them. The stories revolve around the four orphaned Alden children. They’re supposed to go live with their grandfather whom they have heard is cruel. So rather than stay with him, they decide to run away and live in a boxcar. After experiencing all kinds of problems and adventures, they finally meet their grandfather, who is actually kind and go to live with him.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
I found this book helpful when I was a teenager. It’s a great step by step guide to help teens figure out how to reach their goals and navigate all the life-changing decisions that come up at this age. It covers topics that are important to teenagers like self-image, friendships, and peer pressure.

Lisa Woods

Lisa spent a decade traveling the world for her work before realizing her dream was to create art and write. She now lives in Chicopee, MA with her husband and two children where she homeschooled her kids for the early grades. Lisa has a real passion for books, especially children’s literature, collecting children’s books since the age of fifteen. She is now working on her first children’s book.

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