My primary source for this article comes from some papers left by someone on my table. It looks like it might have been someone's outline for a lesson, but I don't really know. I liked the ideas, so I am choosing to use them.
This article, entitled "Choice and Accountability," says that as humans we tend to be conditioned to do the same thing over and over. You'll see that in your children as they interact with each other. As a parent you can start to teach them that they don't have to react that way. They can make different choices.
We can teach our children that they can choose to make weaknesses strengths. We can point out to them how the participants in the Paralympics have chosen to excel in sports in spite of what the rest of us would call incredible odds. We can point out how many blind children choose to learn Braille, go to college, get married and have a family. We see children in wheelchairs who are friendly and excel. Often families with a child who is disabled express gratitude for the disabled child because they have learned a different level of love.
Accountability enables us to take charge of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, regardless of the actions of others. Ac-cording to this material we and our children need to take responsibility for success and failures. We need to be careful of justification, rationalization, or becoming defensive. Here is a list of how we try to avoid being accountable for our choices:
- I had no choice: We always have a choice.
- I had no control: i.e., a couple or teen argues, the phone rings and they can change their tone of voice so fast!
- I don't know! We sometimes claim not to know something, but in our heart of hearts, we did know.
- I forgot: To say that we forgot when we choose not to remember seeks to avoid accountability.
- I'll try: That is a cop out and a lie. We know we will either do it or not.
- If you do. . . then I'll do: This strategy places conditions between us and our goals. It sets up hoops for them to jump through. It is emotionally unfair.
- Nobody told me: This takes responsibility away from us and blames someone else.
- That is just the way I am! We are either moving forward and progressing or we are rolling backwards. We don't just stay the same.
- I don't have time: We all have the exact same amount of time--24 hours in a day; how we choose to spend our time becomes the issue.
I hope we teach our children that "when we are accountable for our choices in our lives we find peace and are able to focus on what we want to create in our lives. Once we have made a choice, the consequences begin and if we don't like the results, which come from that choice, then simply forgive ourselves and choose again."
We all create our own realities.