Learning Responsibility


St Bernadette's helps children to learn how to make make good decisions that enables them to develop independence and responsibility.

A good decision is one that is most likely to lead to a positive outcome for everyone concerned. What we say and what we do relates to the decisions that our students make on a daily basis.

To make good decisions our children at St Bernadette’s learn to:

  • Recognise when there is a choice for them to make
  • Understand they are responsible for making the decision
  • Take other’s needs into consideration with what they say and the actions they engage in
  • Think of possible choices or solutions and decide what is best.
Steps for decision-making
  1. What do you have to decide about?
  2. What choices do you have?
  3. Weigh up the pros and cons of each option and choose the best option.
  4. Put your choice into action and then check how it works out.
Helping children to take responsibility

Children will often focus on immediate wants without considering the long-term consequences of their decisions and actions.

To learn to take responsibility and make good decisions, children need to be shown how to use the decision-making steps and be given the opportunity to practice making decisions.

Children do not learn to make good decisions overnight.

Parents and carers can help children develop their decision-making skills by:

  • Keeping decision-making manageable by providing a choice between two options that are realistic for the age and ability of the child
  • Listen enthusiastically to children’s explanations and encourage children to explain their choices as this teaches them to develop their thinking processes and think through their choices
  • Use questions to encourage children to make judgements (eg ‘Do you think this will work?’, ‘Is that a good idea?’)
  • Involve children in family decision-making (eg. planning holiday activities). This encourages children to take others into consideration when making decisions.


Written By

St Bernadette's Castle Hill

St Bernadette's Castle Hill

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