page contents

Responsibility and Children  -  Three  

Last month I talked about how not holding children responsible for their inappropriate behavior can be problematic.  This month I would like to focus on how we let them down when we don’t hold them responsible for their positive behavior.

The biggest place this comes out is around school.  It often seems that parents are more invested in their children’s academic success than the children are themselves.  Parents  then become very invested in monitoring assignments, setting up and structuring homework and study time, and checking in with teachers and other school personnel to make sure their child is on top of things. 

Ask any educator and they will tell you it is good for parents to be invested in their children’s academic performance.  But there is a difference between being invested and taking on the responsibility for success.  Some parents believe if their children experience failure they will be ruined, either emotionally or in the limit of choices in their future education.  The problem is this.  At some point those children will have to take on responsibility for their success whether that be in academics or in the working world. 

School is one of the best times in life for someone to learn how to manage and structure themselves, set goals and achieve them, and learn to take responsibility for themselves and their behavior.  We cheat children when we don’t allow them to do this for themselves, and allowing this requires we also allow them the possibility of failure. 

Previous                                                                               Next