Responsibility is something we all want from our children.
I often hear parents and teachers say to their children (when they have forgotten their library book), now who is responsible for remembering? However, these kids are 1st and 2nd graders. Do they need to be that responsible? Isn’t their job to play and have fun and be a kid.
Responsibility comes with time. They will grow up and understand that their library book needs to be returned on time or they will have to pay. And that is sure to get them responsible.
Today, I want to have a different kind of responsibility conversation. One that doesn’t have monetary consequences but will indeed have many others.
I want my children to be responsible for their emotions, for their actions, for saying sorry when they know they have done something wrong. For owning up to who they are, good and bad, right and wrong.
I believe, as parents, we can teach this by showing our children that WE are self-responsible.
The other day, my boys were running around playing football with some friends. I was on the sidelines watching. My oldest son began pushing my younger son and tackling him. It looked a bit rough to me and so I got involved.
In hindsight I didn’t need to get involved, they were playing football. But because I did, both my boys got upset with each other. The older because I was upset with him and the younger because he attached onto my anger (thinking his brother was in the wrong).
They were still arguing when we got into the car. So I stopped the car and told them that we needed to talk. They rolled their eyes and let out a big sigh.
I told them that I was really sorry, that I recognized that I got involved in the football game and that it was unnecessary. I recognized that they were taking their anger out on each other when they were really upset with me for getting involved in their play.
They were surprised to hear my self-responsibility because they thought I was going to tell them what they were doing wrong. They responded with happiness and went about their day with no arguments.
As a parent I think it is so important to recognize when we feel we have overreacted or done something wrong and tell our children. They are very forgiving human beings and every time I have accepted responsibility they have turned around and said, its ok mom.
It is such a blessing to get this recognition from your children and it is really empowering!
And in turn they do the same. They recognize and take responsibility for themselves. It is a beautiful thing.
I would LOVE to know a time when you were self-responsible by sharing something about yourself with your children or partner. Maybe it was like me, when you overreacted and apologized to your children.
I you feel comfortable, comment below!