Responsibility that is...
There is a dangerous epidemic we are experiencing in our house with some of our children. It manifests itself in a variety of ways. This illness is called Irresponsibilititis-plasia Syndrome.
Clinical File1: Unnamed male was told to go to bed. Patients history included being told to take care of last minute bed time routine before said bedtime actually occurred including putting away toys, getting water bottle situated and physically getting into the laying down position on the appropriate sleeping apparatus. Instead the male seemed unable to follow through with the simple request. He reported temporary blackouts and an overwhelming inclination to play on the hanging rope ladder and practice strange dance moves in his underwear. He acknowledges he heard the request clearly but somehow the fault lies with the mother.
Clinical File 2: Unnamed male 2 was instructed to clean the bathroom he already claimed to have cleaned. He insisted the dirt and grime he had been putting off cleaning for several days now was somehow the product of him taking a shower today. His first defense was that he forgot even though his mother stood in the bathroom with him and showed him exactly what needed to be cleaned. His second defense was claiming he was stupid and crumpling into a puddle of tears.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but in our home I am having great difficulty getting my children to take responsibility for their words and actions. We have it laid out pretty clearly what the expectations are and how to earn privileges. These are not new ideas, though we haven't always had them in writing.
We are generations away from the Rules of Civility, as penned by a young George Washington http://www.history.org/almanack/life/manners/rules2.cfm . Those Little House on the Prairie years with children as young as 12 being considered responsible enough to watch the homestead for a day or two are long gone. Not that I want to leave my young ones home by themselves for a day or two, but it would be wonderful if I could give a direction or have an expectation and know it would be carried out.
We no longer live in a society where honesty is the best policy. We don't live in communities, for the most part, we all live as individuals living our own lives as best we can...or as best we think we can. We live in a time when authority should always be questioned and it is always someone else's fault. We see kids movies glorifying the main characters who constantly go against their authorities and are mostly "proved right" in the end.
But in everything we do we are to keep struggling on toward the goal. This is true for the salvation of our souls and as we parent our children. We have to keep swimming upstream even though the current gets swifter and the multitude of fish blissfully swimming in the opposite direction increases.
Clinical File 1 - Diagnosis and Treatment: Unnamed male 1 only stayed mad for a short time. The mother of the patient checked on him an hour later when he admitted he had been being childish. Instead of engaging in a long conversation, which the patient was hoping for as it would mean he would be staying up later, she opted to smile, tell him she loved him and that they'd talk in the morning. Acute symptoms were treated allowing the emotional inflammation to decrease. Chronic condition will be addressed on an ongoing basis. Tea may be a beneficial aid to calming.
Clinical File 2 - Diagnosis and Treatment: Mother of unnamed male 2 explained to him that calling himself "stupid" was still avoiding responsibility. She reminded him of his straight A grades from the previous year, fantastic current grades, his creative inventions, not to mention how kind and cuddly he usually is. She prayed with him. Time was also beneficial in this patients emotional flair up. After he calmed down said mother administered a great big hug which he reciprocated. Both patient and mother agreed to sit down tomorrow and come up with an action plan for future success.
Do not lose heart, dear mother, the disease is not terminal. And the Lord our God specializes in tough cases. Thank God!!!