11 04 2012

I read every day about how irresponsible everyone is in this world of today.  Especially the children.  Seems those children are coddled every day of their lives.  That means, of course, that they are not allowed to grow up.  They are always kept safe behind Mama’s apron and shielded from that horrible cold, cruel world out there.  As a result, they never have the opportunity to really cut those apron strings and grow up as they should.

People cannot learn to be responsible unless they have the chance to practice responsibility.  One of my children raised his children with the words – what is the magic word?  Responsibility was the answer.  That meant they were responsible for their own lives, whatever it might be that day.  When they were much younger, they were responsible for keeping their room nice and clean.  This was THEIR responsibility.  Of course, we all understand that responsibility must always be age appropriate.  This means that if they are 5, they can only understand responsibility on a 5 year old level.  And that means, try to keep the room clean enough so that no one trips and falls trying to walk through it.

Then by age 8 or so, they should take even more pride in a clean room.  By age 10, the room should be automatically kept uncluttered and pretty clean.  Then by age 15, it all starts over again.  They have forgotten what the words ‘clean room’ mean.  They do not understand anything said to them about any mundane subject such as that.  They hardly even know they have a room because they can’t find it under all that stuff they have. But they are in no hurry to clean it up because they have more important things to do like talking on the phone and eating a snack.  But remember, that will soon pass.  No doubt it will. Or you will.

When they reach the ripe old age of 18 or so, they will once again take some pride in having a clean room and return to a semblance of responsibility.  So don’t give up on them.   They will eventually get there.  And you know what?  They may even sometime thank you for making them responsible.  One of my daughters told me one time that she really appreciated me teaching her to keep the kitchen clean.  Seems she had gone to another’s house for dinner and the guests had to wait while the lady washed the silverware they were going to eat with because her dirty dishes were in the sink.  And had evidently been there for some time.

So, you see, sometimes it really does pay off.  Sometimes, they really do appreciate those little responsible things they were told to do as children.

Teach your children to be responsible and you will be truly amazed at what wonderful adults they become.  I know that from experience.  And I have had lots of experiences with my big family.  Mostly fun, by the way.  But they are all growing up to be very responsible adults, ones to be proud of.

Dear God:  Thank you for responsibility.  And Thank You for those parents who care enough about their children to teach them to be responsible in their growing up years so they can be responsible as adults.