Recently, I listened to a well-respected business leader say that his father taught him responsibility by often giving him small tasks that adults would generally be given. It gave him confidence that he was able to do things others his age were unable to do.
As a parent, we certainly must like the sound of teaching our children to be responsible and independent. I mean, our goal can’t be for them to live with their mom and their dad when they are in their mid to late 20’s is it? Yet more young people between the ages of 25 and 34 are returning to live at home. The boomerang generation as they are being called may be the result of the Great Recession. Or it could be that youth do not want to change their standard of living from what they grew up with.
If we are going to teach responsibility then we need to be honest with ourselves and ask: Am I creating opportunities for my children to make their own choices? Have I given them a sense of the bigger picture? Do I give them a chance to practice age appropriate independence? Responsibility is a taught skill and learned behavior. Giving them the chance to fail safely teaches your child many things. It also forces you as a parent to honestly recognize that your child is just as susceptible to the challenges of this current culture as others. Your goal as a parent is to provide them with the tools to take responsibility for their choices so that they are confident enough to stand for what they believe.
Why do you think it is so difficult for us, as parents, to hand responsibility over to our children?