I am constantly talking to my kids about taking care of their responsibilities. Sometimes, in the heat of an emotional lecturing, I shorten it to "meet your responsibilites," in the sense that one can "meet an obligation".

There has to be a better, shorter way to say the same thing. Some rejects:

  • Meet your obligation - Eh, an obligation is not a responsibility, really.
  • Do your duty - Not good for talking to kids.
  • 'Tend ur rez' - No matter how many "z's" you use, dad, you will never be cool.

Can anyone suggest or invent a better way of hitting this bullet point for the attention-span challenged?

  • Try using consequences, but start small in the beginning. For example, make sure they know ahead of time that if they keep a particular promise, they'll gain something that they like (e.g., an extra scoop of ice cream after dinner), but if they don't keep their promise, they'll lose something that they value (of equal value to that extra scoop of ice cream). Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 5:33
  • When it comes to big words, don't worry about it because little children do have the capacity to learn a few big things more frequently than expected -- my daughter knew how to say the word "antidisestablishmentarianism" (wow, the spell check has the correct spelling of this word!) when she was 6 and understood its meaning before she was 8. She has also taught a few of her friends how to say it correctly. Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 5:36

3 Answers 3


If it's a matter of doing their share of household chores, I've always liked:

It's time for you to start pulling your weight around here.

  • Good. Useful for when I can exclude say, doing homework or paying back a friend.
    – Dynrepsys
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 3:50

Just :

"be self-responsible"

As in "You have to be self-responsible"

  • I admit this phrase never really occurs to me. Maybe I'm usually looking for something more specific?
    – Dynrepsys
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 3:51
  • Edited it @Dynrepsys
    – Thursagen
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 3:55

"Accountability" is a word that is used somewhat frequently in the business world (and also in politics, but it's well-known that most politicians have difficulty understanding its meaning, which I'm hoping is just a side-effect of their [seemingly] incurable foot-in-mouth disease epidemic).

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