“If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” ~ Abigail Van Buren
It’s hard for me to fathom, but my son is graduating from high school in a few months. It seems like only a few years ago my oldest daughter was graduating from high school. When it actually was eight years ago, in 2007.
So, as I think about my son graduating I find myself wondering, did we teach him enough responsibility over the years? Not just that but did we give him enough responsibility over his life?
I think that responsibility can be given to someone as an opportunity to learn how that person will make decisions or act independently without needing any help from anyone else.
With my son I think back to the responsibilities that he was given, and how he handled them. How when he joined Cub Scouts as a Webelos, he started learning about responsibility. He learned about being a responsible Cub Scout. Once he bridged over into Boy Scouts, he really started getting some good training in responsibility. Boy Scouts is boy led & boy run, with adults guiding the boys. So, the boys do so much in the troop and they learn a lot of responsibility, under a lot of awesome adult leadership. My son this past November just made it to the highest rank in Boy Scouts, which is the Eagle Scout. On average, only about 6% (as of 2013) out of all registered Boy Scouts make it to the rank of Eagle Scout. It takes a lot of hard work, responsibility & determination to get there.
Teaching responsibility to our children I think, should come at an early age; but it can be instilled in our children at any age. If we are teaching a new responsibility to a child, no matter what the age, here is a suggestion. The responsibility could be different for each child. Remember, each child is different and learns differently as well.
The responsibility in which we are giving them should be age appropriate, not something too difficult, or too easy, not something that will exasperate them, something that would be a little challenging, something that will be helpful to either them self or someone else, and something that they can be proud to have accomplished when they completed their task.
I have seen that there are a lot a teenagers out there that have not been given any responsibilities, or some, a bit too many. It is our job as parents to make sure we have done everything possible in preparing our children for the future. Because whether we like it or not their future is waiting for them. Are they prepared?
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” ~Theodore Roosevelt