Raising a Responsible Child
Raising a responsible child isn’t a difficult thing, but it does take diligent effort on the parent’s part.
In our own ignorance, we have created a world ridden with human beings that rush from pillar to post, believing that the more we can “get done”, the more important we are.
There is an old, borrowed part of us that has convinced us that we need to live that rush-filled lifestyle. Because we currently listen to that part of ourselves, we do its bidding by keeping ourselves incessantly, unnecessarily busy.
In the grips of that rushing nature, we often listen to a part of us that convinces us to let our child “skate” from their responsibilities. The excuse it feeds us is “You don’t have the time to deal with this now” or “there’s no harm in letting that slide right now - they need a break”.
What we are unable to see in those moments is that those negative parts of us are the irresponsible parts of us that need to be seen and not acquiesced to. So, when you as a parent listen to that irresponsible part of yourself, it is the same as strengthening irresponsibility in yourself and your child. That’s just how it works.
We typically see it as something harmless and negligible, but in truth, it’s not. All good things require a sacrifice of ourselves. Raising a responsible child is no different.
The amazing thing about all of this is that children really do like to be a part of their family. They like to help out. It is actually natural for them.
When a 2-year old child sees their siblings take their dishes to the sink after each meal, that 2-year old child automatically learns that responsible action from them. That child will start to bring his or her own plate to the sink as well. If not, a simple reminder offered without judgment is all that will be needed.
Our part as parents, however, is to remain as aware as possible in each and every moment so we can see a certain cause and effect that takes place. What I mean by that is, we can become aware of the fact that when we become lost in thought (distracted from the present moment), it is almost a guarantee that our children will be distracted as well from taking care of their own responsibilities.
When we remain present, there is something that “oversees” the moment and reminds us of what needs to be attended to.
Raising a responsible child is an essential stepping stone for them in the realm of their inner life and work ahead of them.
The more we learn to attend to our responsibilities in the outer world, the more diligent we will be at attending to our responsibilities in our inner world, and that is a great responsibility indeed.
You see, we are 100% responsible for the life that has been created in our ignorance in attending to an irresponsible part of ourselves that always convinces us that we have better things to do than to just be here now.
The choice is always ours. Feed irresponsibility and make it more difficult for ourselves and our children, or feed responsibility and take the time to seed it now, which will ultimately make it easier for ourselves, our children and the world itself in the long run.
Image courtesy of: Photo by Alex Green from Pexels