What a great quote about CHOICES and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
You make thousands of choices a day. Some so small, you don’t even realize you are making them.
When a choice is made and the result benefits us, we feel great. What about when a bad choice is made. Often it is easy to find someone or something to blame for the result.
It is very difficult to teach teens this lesson. When they do bad on a test, when they have a fight with a friend, when a teacher reprimands them for their behavior and the list goes on.
They often tend to blame the teacher, the friend or find an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for their circumstance. This often comes from their insecurities and the idea that this failed choice means they are a failure.
Just think about how stubborn they can be when they should apologize to us for bad behavior, but instead storm off into their room to finally come out hours later recognizing an apology is due.
Teens are still growing their minds and trying to understand how their thoughts about themselves relate to the world. However, when they can learn to embrace failure and realize that a choice they made is their responsibility, the mind grows and they learn from that choice.
It is especially hard when it relates to peers. Typically a peer has some role in the situation as well. This is when the “but they did this”, or “I was just watching!” statements start.
Teaching them to understand that choosing to engage with people that don’t serve them, choosing to do something to fit in, knowing full well it is wrong is still a choice.
You know what else is a choice? Taking no action to change a circumstance. As my favorite drummer Neil Peart states in the song Freewill, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
Personal Responsibility is a hard one for teens, but so powerful and liberating when they finally learn it.
Talk to them about choices and responsibility. Teach them the value of learning from failure and recognizing their own role in the choices they make.