Teaching Responsibility to Children

This has been a painful weekend for all sorts of reasons. At times it has felt like someone tied the anchor to the Titanic around my waist and it has been all that I can do to keep from drowning. Life has kicked me in the balls, punched me in the mouth and slapped me across the face.

So how does this relate to teaching children how to be responsible? Well, the kids have been watching me deal with these moments. They have seen me bug eyed, cross eyed and have told me that they didn't know that I could swear for an hour without taking a breath.

And they have seen me finish venting, cool down and take care of the things that needed to be taken care of. I have mixed emotions about all of this. I prefer that they be isolated from grown up issues that they cannot completely understand nor deal with.

Don't misunderstand, nothing so terrible has happened that I am truly worried about them. And I do want to them to see that sometimes grown ups get scared. But I want to do it in as controlled a manner as possible. I want them to learn that fear doesn't mean panic.

I want them to see that you can be upset and still take care of your responsibilities. I won't have them grow up to be people with no coping skills. I won't allow them to go crazy and spout off like this kid.

They are watching us carefully, studying our moves, reactions and actions. They'll see their parents go a little meshugah. They'll watch the mishegoss and see that life never stops and that we do what we have to do. We do it because it is the right thing. We do it because it is necessary and because that is the only way to make things better.

In my mind I can see myself making out like a Jewish Bruce Lee.

There is only one small problem, I don't have any nunchucks anymore. Guess I better ask for a new pair for Chanukah.


Anonymous said...

exactly. amen.

Batya said...

Kids learn from everything we say and do, especially the things we don't pay attention to.
I wish I could do it all over again.

Kelly Miller said...

My kids see me react wrongly in all kinds of situations, but (hopefully) they also see me make amends and hear me apologize -- even to them. I feel like that's the best I can do, and it shows them that life doesn't end when you screw up -- there's always time for remorse and growth.

Jack Steiner said...




If you didn't want to do it again I'd be concerned. I am in the middle of it and I want another shot.


I think that it is important for the kids to see that we are not infallible. Gives them a better sense of reality.

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