As a parent, one of the most valuable things we can impart on our children is how to take personal responsibility. If our children never learn the valuable lessons in life, like doing their own laundry, planning their own meals, or figuring out how to get places, they will forever be dependent on other people. No one wants their 27-year-old son hanging around with no prospects as he works a dead-end job.
But though every parent wants their child to grow into a self-sufficient and independent adult, some don’t like hearing about how to do it from other adults.
For example, a sign that delivers a valuable lesson in personal responsibility and achievement has undergone criticism from some lazy parents. But fortunately, most of the adults who bring their school to the Catholic High Schools For Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas appreciate the utilitarian and disciplined message.
As you know, high school children can be forgetful. They forget to do their homework, they forget their lunch, or they forget their book at home.
Well at this particular school, the educators got sick and tired and fed up with parents stopping in in the middle of the day to save their kids’ skins after they forgot something.
So instead of allowing these parents to cower to their children’s irresponsibility, educators posted a sign with a large “Stop” sign on it. Below the traffic sign the following words were written in big, black, bold letters.
“If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.” The sign was posted on Facebook on Wednesday and quickly went viral.
Many of the thousands of viewers praised the sign’s message.
“This is all about teaching young men (high schoolers are not children) to become responsible adult men and spouses and fathers through allowing ‘soft failures,’” one parent, Margaret Barsocchi Willis, wrote. Mistakes are inevitable. But if we don’t learn from them, we can never improve our lives. This school is allowing these “soft failures” to hit home for the kids so they don’t forget their lunch or homework again.
If mom or dad is always there to rescue them, the child will grow up into an adult who leans on his parents for far too long. The young men at the Catholic High Schools for Boys are learning a valuable lesson. While it might hurt a little in the moment, they will learn to problem solve and get out of their own jams.
It can also be reasoned that if these children learn personal responsibility now, they won’t be as likely to leave on the stove or leave their front door unlocked when they finally do become independent, fully-functioning adults. Adults need to keep track of many different things. And life only seems to get more complicated the older you get.
Do you agree with the Little Rock’s schools’ tough love policy? Or is there a better way to teach personal responsibility?
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