Monday, March 17, 2008

Quote of the Week...

"It's not our job to raise responsible kids. Our job is to consistently do the things that give kids an opportunity to become responsible."

---Foster W. Cline, M.D.

5 comments:

Anne/kq said...

Hmmm. That's interesting to think about-- but shouldn't we also teach them what responsibility means? I think reinforcing and demonstrating the concept is as important as providing an opportunity to use that knowledge.

LeaAnne said...

This is a really interesting one for me this week! Thanks for putting it up:)

happy mommy said...

KQ: my personal experience has been that, yes, example and teaching are important.

But nothing a parent ever says about responsibility will have the impact that life's lessons on responsibility will. Lessons we learn through our own behavior and our own internal paradigm shifts are usually the ones with the most impact.

Mellocat said...

I respectfully disagree with that statement in the limited context provided.

Perhaps the good Dr. is not meaning to say this, but it sure comes across as if parents are justified in sitting by while letting their kids run the show essentially... do and experience any and everything they want and through these "opportunities" they will learn what it means as well as choose to be responsible and behave accordingly.

Raising responsible kids is something totally different than crossing our fingers hoping they get as they exercise their agency freely.

Reference Doctrine & Covenants 68:25.

FYI... in case anyone else was wondering, this Dr. Cline is not the same person as Dr. Victor B. Cline, the well known LDS professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Utah.

happy mommy said...

Hi, cat! Glad you stopped by.

Trust me when I say that Dr. Cline is anything but a "fingers crossed" advocate of parenting.

He says in the quote that we have to consistantly DO, which to me does not lend itself to standing around...it I am consistantly doing as a parent, then I am not waiting around for things to happen. I am HELPING them to happen.

I want my children to make mistakes and learn things while they are young, when the consequences are small and their Dad and I are there to love and support them. We start that by allowing them agency while they are young within the realms of what we as their parents think is safe. (would you like to wear the red shirt or the blue one?, etc.)

I hope that my child can learn responsiblity by blowing all his chore money and suffering through that while the consequences are small, rather than his first lesson in financial responsibility be when he doesn't make rent.

Rather than try to control and influence their every decision, I prefer to help them learn through consequences what things make their life good, and what things don't.