|A HARD and SAD TRUTH is|
|even when we have done our best to teach our children to choose wisely, when they are old enough to follow a path, |
even when it is the wrong path,
they are old enough and know enough to make that choice.
They were, and are, responsible beings, responsible for the course THEY pursue, the lives THEY live and the deeds THEY do.
This is how THEY CHOOSE to use their agency.
THEY MUST BE ALLOWED TO EXPERIENCE
THE CONSEQUENCES of their choice.
Before we get in to today's post we are repeating the warning from a previous post
What have we learned so far?
We have learned that agency is the Lord’s eternal plan.
We have learned that accountability is an integral part of that plan. There cannot exist choices without consequences. To try to separate them is Satan’s plan, not God’s plan.
So what is our responsibility in the agency/accountability aspect of the Lord’s plan? I see it as two-fold:
First and obviously, we must make this concept live in our own lives.
Second, we must teach our children accountability.
There are four words which may be interchangeable in this discussion and I’ll use each of them:
We must teach our children from a young age that they must be responsible for their actions. From the breaking of family rules to the breaking of family standards to the breaking of laws to the breaking of the commandments.
We must begin to teach them at an early age. In fact the teaching should begin as soon as they are able to understand. Thus it becomes a part of them. I realize that our expectation of a two-year-old is not the same as a six-year-old or a twelve-year old, but each is capable of learning at their own level of understanding.
I assure you, the longer we wait to teach them the more difficult will be the task. We should not wait until they are eight-years-old or teenagers or, in way too many cases, until they are well into adulthood to teach them. If we do so we have given ourselves and our children an onerous task.
How will our children learn accountability if we do not teach them and if we do not hold them accountable for the things which they do or fail to do?
The Lord has given us that responsibility:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:40
But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
How do we teach our children this concept?
We teach them by setting boundaries, establishing rules, having expectations, and making our children adhere to these rules, etc. When they fail to comply, there must be consequences. We are not doing our children any favors when we fail to hold them responsible for their actions, or in many cases, in-actions.
Previously we gave you the alarming message from Dr. Ray Johnson, PhD, a clinical counselor and professor at North Texas State University: It is worth repeating.
“The most prevalent form of child abuse in this country is the failure of parents to discipline* their children.”
*Too often we think punish when we see or hear the word discipline. The Webster’s Dictionary defines discipline as training that develops self-control, character, orderliness, efficiency,obedience, and acceptance of authority.
And it is worthy of our consideration! Have we unintentionally fallen into this category?
We must teach our families the accountability of agency and we must let them experience the consequences of improper choices or we are cheating them.
In fact, whose plan are we following when we remove or try to remove our loved one’s accountability?
Do we try avoid to it for ourselves by making someone else responsible for our actions?
To try to avoid accountability or to try and remove accountability for someone else is contrary to the Lord’s plan.
You know we cannot redeem or remove from our loved ones the consequences of their actions. That is not within our power.
If we don’t teach them and let them be accountable, all we are doing is postponing the inevitable. For they are learning habits and traits which they will some day have to pay for. Because ultimately, they cannot avoid the consequences for their actions.
It may seem to you that it is a hard thing to teach young children to be accountable for their actions.
It does require effort and time on our part.
I assure you, it is a much harder thing to try to teach them when they are teenagers or adults.
Tomorrow* we will tackle the HARD QUESTIONS AND . . .THE HARD ANSWERS.
Please “hang in there” and keep coming back.
*Dave and I have made two important decisions.
1. We feel that if this material is needed by you and helping you we need to bring it to you more than once a week. Beginning today we will post "Help" Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
There will be 8 more posts, followed by a final wrap up with updates, insights, and final observations from Dave.
2. The end of the "Help" series will also signal the end of The Creative Cheapskate. The time has come for me to move on to other "adventures" and responsibilities.
I have written almost 400 posts on a wide variety of subjects. I hope they have been helpful, useful and, hopefully at times, even enjoyable. I have learned a lot as I have tried to help you.
Since the net is full of zillions of resources covering many of the same or similar subjects that I have covered I know I am definitely not leaving anyone "hanging." Whatever help you need on whatever subject you need help with, that help is there with just a few strokes in the search box.
The Creative Cheapskate has had over 25,000 "hits." I don't know exactly what that means or how it is determined but I am grateful for what I take it to mean---that my offerings have been beneficial to some of you, wherever you are throughout our wide, wonderful, world.
Keep the faith. Keep up the good works that you are doing. Keep putting one step in front of the other, and most importantly, keep picking yourself up if you stumble.
Always Remember. . .
Each of you is a child of our Heavenly Father. He knows you. He loves you. He is with you every step of your way. All you need to do is
- simply acknowledge Him,
- simply pray to Him,
- simply seek Him,
- simply try to do your very best, taking one step at a time, even when it is hard and discouraging.
- simply turn your life and your burdens over to Him,
It really is that simple, I promise.
You are doing a great work.
Don't beat yourself up, don't let anyone else beat you up, and don't let the world beat you up.
Thanks for "listening" to me these past 33 months.
It has been fun.
I am, and will continue to be, Simply, Gail