The powerful word of the month is accountability! Accountability is all about keeping our promises and commitments while also taking care of our mistakes. It’s important to allow our children and teens to be accountable for themselves (while still being age appropriate) so that they learn (1) Making mistakes is not the end of the world; (2) When you make a “mess,” clean it up; (3) Ask for help when you need it; (4) healthy promises and commitments are something that should be kept; (5) Accountability is a crucial part of goal setting and goal getting as well as a vital part of being a good friend, student, employee, and family member.
While it may be tempting to jump in and “do it for them” when we see a child/teen challenged by a mistake s/he made (i.e. forgot his homework, lost a book) or a promise he no longer wants to keep (i.e. wants to quit a sport, doesn’t want to go to the birthday party she said she would attend), learning accountability at a young age is a great life lesson.
Children may need support or assistance at times but at others, we need to step back and allow them to take the lead. Encourage them to tell the librarian that they lost a book and want to pay for it with their allowance. Teach your children that once they make a commitment to a friend, it’s important that they keep that promise. Show them that when they make a mistake, they need to admit it, apologize for it and help make it right. If they can learn this when stakes are low during childhood, they will be able to apply these life lessons to their life when stakes are higher during adulthood.
Enjoy this month’s Powerful Word! How are YOU teaching accountability in your home?