Monday, June 6, 2011

Individual Responsibility

 Remember, the purpose of this blog is to present examples of widespread failings in the five key behavioral dimensions first, to explain how to recognize and classify behaviors and second, to persuade the public that the answers to our current crises and the general perception that the country is headed in the wrong direction can be traced to these core behavioral issues rather than government solutions and the attendant divisive debate.

Here is another example.  My sister works with an after school program for elementary school students and offered to share several of her experiences with the students and parents.  The parent-paid program provides supervision, games and projects for the children at school between the time classes end and the time the parents can get off work to pick them up.

A recent situation involved a third grade girl whose father came to pick her up.  She told her father she wasn’t ready to go.  He said OK and left to return half an hour later.  My sister asked him who was running the house and he answered (seriously) that apparently his daughter was.  My sister told me that she had warned both parents since their daughter was in kindergarten of the danger of letting her have her way all the time.  (This is a fine example of an everyday failure in the dimension of responsibility.)  Imagine the challenge they are setting for their daughter and everyone who associates with her for the rest of her life – her teachers, her future employer, her spouse, her own children will be expected to constantly please and amuse her, acquiescing to her every wish.  By not exercising their responsibility as parents today, taking the easy, non-confrontational way out, they are setting her up for failure as she moves into the real world where everyone cannot and will not tolerate such behavior.  She also develops patterns of behavior weak in the dimension of discipline, which can lead to other problems.  (I’ll bet many readers know of similar family situations.)

This link between responsibility and discipline shows up over and over.  Next time I’ll show how these seemingly isolated incidents have social implications.

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