An Excuse for Everything
How many times have you heard “yes…but” at your house? How many times did you decide to “move on” or disregard a situation when your adolescent son did something wrong?
“Yes, I forgot to do my homework…but it isn’t a big deal!” “Yes, I forgot to feed the dog…but I was busy and forgot!” Maybe you feel it’s easier to let it go and not make it an issue.
If he is not held accountable and doesn’t take responsibility it will affect him the rest of his life.
A simple, clear definition of accountability is this:
the quality or state of being accountable; especially an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
Lessons are learned when we first own our accountability, and then take responsibility for our actions. “Yes, I forgot to do my homework I will get up early and do it before school.” “Yes, I forgot to feed the dog, I’m sorry I will set an alarm for myself in the future.”
Taking responsibility for our actions, is one of life’s most important lessons. If we’re held accountable it causes us to think hard about the consequences of the choices we make.
School of Hard Knocks
Are you concerned its too late, you’re dealing with bad grades, he’s staying up too late playing video games or has a general bad attitude?
Are you witnessing more risky behavior with your son like experimenting with drugs, alcohol, sex and abusive behavior to name a few?
The hard truth is this, you don’t have time to wait another minute. He needs to be held accountable for bad choices. Do this by setting up a discipline system or rules, (also known as) natural consequences for the choices made. This is a critical time; teach him the difference between need versus want and the consequences he faces when he makes bad choices or the freedom he’ll enjoy when he makes good choices!
Some perceive accountability and responsibility to be tough love. My perception is its nurturing love, at times that can feel like tough love. I believe in teaching your son how to grow into a healthy, happy mature man. If that requires tough/nurturing love, in the end it’s worth it.
Examples and situations are all around us every day and too many to mention here. The point is not to ignore or pass up the opportunity to help your son grow. Realistically it’s never simple and easy! Avoid the urge to “move on” when your son says, “Yes….but!”
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