Bad Behavior and Personal Responsibility

23 09 2009

tantrumI am always spouting off about personal responsibility. Obviously, you cannot have personal responsibility if you have never been taught to have this. Parents are responsible for teaching all their children about taking care of themselves and being fully responsible for all their own behavior. This makes for responsible teens who do not get in any real trouble. And it makes for responsible adults who have good lives and nice families.

As I walked into the lobby of the school today, there was a young boy, kindergarten age, wallowing on the floor. His mother and teacher were both watching him as he whined and shed real tears because he did not want to attend school today. The boy even crawled over to the corner and stood up against the wall with his back to the adults. The teacher was obviously pretty exasperated. But the mother was begging, and begging, and begging the young boy to go to class. He looked over at me and grinned that grin that all spoiled kids  do when they know you are aware of their spoiled behavior. In other words, he knew that I knew he was just showing off, putting on, and getting his own way with all the attention he could possibly want.

And poor mother was put in a position of begging her wayward 5 year old to stop acting like a 2 year old. Poor Mother should have pulled him up off the floor and insisted that he go on to class. She should have let him know in no uncertain terms that it is his responsibility to act like a 5 year old and to attend the kindergarten class where he belongs. And then she should have turned her back and walked out the door. And she should have done this when he showed off and acted spoiled when he was 2 years old and 3 years old and 4 years old, too. He finally won this morning and poor mother took his hand, led him out the door, and even carried his back pack for him. Mother is not doing her son any favors by coddling him and making over him and begging him to act his age.

In fact, she is doing him a great disservice by refusing to make her son behave. Is he going to grin that spoiled grin behind her back and get into trouble when he is 15? Or when he is 25? When is she going to finally recognize that it is her role to be the mother and act like the mother and insist that her son act like a son should.

How is her son going to know about personal responsibility if she does not teach him? Is she expecting the teacher to be the one to instill this behavior? Or the principal? It is her job as his parent and first teacher to make sure that when her son walks out the door if it be age 5 or 15 or 25, that he is responsible for his own behavior. If she had been doing a good job, her 5 year old son would not today be wallowing in the school floor, crying fake tears, and whining.

It is up to the parents to teach personal responsibility to their children. And it must be taught every day in every instance. Day after day, year after year for all their growing up years.

If you expect your children to be responsible adults, you must teach them now – at home – to be responsible children. Personal Responsibility is an absolute must. And Responsible Parents always teach this to their children.