Video Transcript: The Skill of Responsibility
Taking control of your parenting. In this session, we're going to be looking at how you can turn out responsible kids. This is probably one of the most important in this series on parenting. Proverbs 22:6, this is the classic verse on parenting, train a child in the way he should go. And when he was out when he is old, he will not turn from it. Now, some of you are like, I've seen where this is not true. Parents train their children, you know, they bring him to church, teach them all the right things, and then they get old and they walk away from everything. Maybe you're struggling with your children, right now you're trying to train them. But now you know, they're not older, who knows whether they can go back to it or not, but you've seen it. So how can that possibly work? Well, if you look at the word train, when you train someone, you train someone to do something, helping someone do something. It's very difficult to train someone who doesn't want to be trained. And so if a person resists being training are they trained. So the whole concept of training itself implies sort of a two way street, I'm trying to help you learn something, but you have to kind of want to learn it, you have to cooperate with the training, or I'm not really training you. So that's part of it, some children just never got trained in the first place. And a lot of times, children do come back to it. I mean, the children do learn things as as, as, as children, and when they become adults, sometimes they walk away, they try other things they think they know better, but often they do come back. So part of the whole training thing, I guess that's my point in bringing this all up is the child has to take some responsibility for the training, or it's impossible to train. So that's why responsibility is so important. teaching your kids to take on responsibility. If they don't take on responsibility, you can't train them. If you don't train them, there's nothing to come back to. Well, how do you turn out responsible kids? That's our question in this session. Number one, start by giving them responsibility. Give them responsibility. I mean, this seems like, why do we even have to say it, no one can become responsible if they don't have responsibility. So give the responsibility as parents, often we we're negligent on giving them responsibility, we we take on the responsibility for everything. Give them responsibility, Genesis 1:28, God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number fill the earth and subdue it rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air over every living creature that moves on the ground. God creates a world and he he gives the ruling of the whole thing to two people that he just made. It's like handing the car keys to the car to you know, children. What are what are Adam and Eve know about running the whole world? And yet God makes them responsible. That's what we need to do as parents. Two questions. Why don't we give kids why don't we give responsibility to our children? Why don't you give responsibility to your children? There's several reasons why we don't. Number one, children are not responsible. You've given them responsibility. And what they do with it. They didn't they didn't do anything with it, they dropped the ball. You tell them to be responsible for cleaning up
their toys, and they just don't do it. You tell them to be responsible for cleaning up their room and they just don't do it. You tell them to be responsible for their brother or their sister. And they just don't do it. So often, they don't take on responsibility. We don't give them responsibility, because when we do they make a mess of things. You know, we're gonna have our child wash the dishes, they end up breaking the plates. Or we we give them responsibility for taking care of something and they don't. We give them responsibility for the car and they put dents in it. So they dropped the ball or we give them responsibility and they just don't do a very good job if you want to something done right, do it yourself. So we've had some bad experience with giving our kids responsibility. So we don't want to do it. Number two, why do kids resist responsibility? We're reluctant to give them we're reluctant to give them responsibility. And kids at the same time resist it. But if you think about it, from a kid's point of view, why should they take on responsibility? I mean, what's the up side for them, if they take on responsibility, they have just now open themselves up for more criticism. Right, because at some point, they're going to drop the ball, at some point, they're not going to do the thing that you are asking them to do. At some point, they're not going to do it perfectly, or they're not going to do it up to the standards or expectations that you have. So if they take on the responsibility, they're just setting themselves up for criticism for getting yelled at for being disappointed with. Why did you do that? Son? Why did you do that daughter? What were you thinking? I gave you this thing to do. I told you how to do it. And then you drop the ball, you don't even follow through, you know? And on and on. And on it goes. So what's the upside? For taking on responsibility? Do they get anything for it? Is there a reward for for taking responsibility? Especially when it's something that maybe they're not that good at? Maybe it's a new thing? They're going to make mistakes? Why should they take on anything? That would be a challenge, because their chances of succeeding are really low? The only way they're going to take on responsibility is if there's an up side to it. That that it's in the trying that they get encouraged, not in always the succeeding. Why can't you take responsibility for your own actions? I blame my upbringing. Okay, that's what people want to do. They want to blame somebody. What? When people hold you accountable for anything, and if it goes wrong, it's not my fault. It's my parents fault. It's my school's fault. It's my teachers fault. It's the government's fault. It's my neighborhood's fault. It's somebody else's fault and my church's fault, my pastor's fault. They don't want to take responsibility for ourselves. Well, how do you turn out responsible kids? Number two, let them experience the consequences of their choices. The first one was give them responsibility. The second one is let them experience the consequences, positive or negative, let them experience the consequences of their choices. Three types of consequences. Number one, is a natural consequence. Proverbs 12:26, the laborer's appetite works for him, his hunger drives him on. Hunger drives him
on, okay. It's a natural consequence. If you don't eat, that you get hungry. So if your child is not eating his, his supper or his dinner, he's not eating it, a lot of parents then apply pressure, you're gonna sit here, and we're going to be here as long as it takes for you to finish that food. And now it's a battle of wills. And a lot of times the child was like, you know, this is a game that I can win. I can outlast my parents because they're frustrated. And I'm not. I'm just not going to do it. And we'll see how long this goes. Okay, you don't have to battle kids with food. Because there's a natural consequence of not eating your food. It's called hunger. So your son or your daughter doesn't want to eat their food, you just say, hey, that's fine. We'll just put that food away. And then when you are hungry, you can have that food, oh, can I have something else? No, this is the food that we're giving you. We'll put it away. And it will be here. If you want to wait a day. If you want to wait two days, that's fine. So you don't have to force your children to eat. Why? Because there's a hunger is a natural consequence. And they will experience it themselves. You don't have to do anything. Just sit back and let the natural consequences take their course. natural consequences are the best consequences. Because as a parent, you don't have to step in and do something. See when you step in and do something, then the child goes hold it. That doesn't make sense that the parent is being you know, oppressive and is putting this stuff on me. This wouldn't. This negative thing wouldn't happen to me if it wasn't For my parents, so they blame the parents. But in a natural consequence, look, I don't. It's not my it's not me. I'm not causing hunger. I provide food, you don't like the food, okay? Well, you wait until you're hungry enough, and maybe you will like the food. But it's up to you. natural consequences are the best. Number two, logical consequences. I Thessalonians For even when we were with you, says Paul, we gave you this rule if a man will not work he shall not eat now. That's a consequence. Okay, you don't get to eat if you don't work, but it's not a natural consequence. If you don't work, you don't naturally don't eat. I mean kids all the time eat even though they don't work. So for a child that doesn't, it's not it doesn't just happen. You know, I don't work, I don't clean up my toys, I don't do my chores, and I still eat. What do these things, how do these things go together. But they are logical, okay. And then you have to teach them the logic. Because in the real world, in the adult world, if you don't work, then you don't eat. If you don't work, you don't get money, and you can't buy things. See, if there's a logical connection to working, making money and buying stuff. It's a logical thing, work, money, buy stuff. If you don't work, you don't have money, you can't buy stuff. Now, your kids don't know this. You have to teach them this logic. This is the logic son, daughter, that you work. And when you work, you get money. And when you get money, you can buy food, you can buy things, these things go together, you don't work, you don't have money, you can buy things. This is how the real world works. So make logical consequences. So if if your child, you know, goes to school, and he goes on a
bus, okay, and he doesn't get up on time is this hard time getting up in the morning. Fine. Let them walk. Now, it's not, it's not a natural consequence, because he could just stay in bed all day. But it's make sense, you miss the ride, you have to walk, you have to do it yourself, we have provided a way to get you from home to school. If you are too lazy to make access of the thing that we have provided, then you provide your own way. And since you're a child, you have no other way but to walk well then walk. Now, often parents aren't willing to pay that price. Oh, it can be dangerous for them. Let them walk and you follow in the car, do what it takes because they have to learn that if they if they make a mess of things, they experienced the negative consequences of making a mess of things. That way, they become more responsible. A lot of parents forever wake their kids up to go to school. You know, the kids 10 years old and the mom or the dad is still waking them up in the morning. Why? Well, if we don't wake him up, he won't get up. Give them an alarm. Yeah, but he doesn't he ignores the alarm, okay? He's not experiencing the consequences of his negative behavior. And he is allowing you to be responsible instead of he or she becoming responsible. You have to let your children experience the negative consequences of their bad behavior, if they are going to learn how to be responsible, stop rescuing your children. And we're helicopter parents. You know, we see our child in trouble and we rescue them, we see them experiencing a little bit a little bit of pain because of the things that they've done. And we can swoop in and rescue them. We don't want them to feel the pain. But see, you do want them to feel the pain. And guess what you want them to experience these things while they're still in your household. If you don't teach them responsibility, and let them experience the pain of their bad choices while they're in your home, then they're going to have to learn those things when they're outside of your home when they're, you know, trying to make it on their own. They're married, they have children, and now for the first time in their life, they're learning that there's consequences to things. And now the consequences are huge. They're not in your protective environment. You're loving, caring, protective environment. Now they're in the real world that doesn't care. So let them experience some of this pain. The three R's to a logical consequence. So how do you make up a logical consequence? Number one, it has to be related to their behavior. Okay, the you know, if you miss the bus you have to walk. It's it's not a natural consequence. But it's related. Okay? It sort of makes sense. The the both are in, you know, related to transportation. So the child is it's not like it's not related. Okay, if you missed the bus, you don't get to eat tonight. Again, okay, that's a consequence, but it doesn't make any sense. What is missing the bus have to do with missing a meal. Number two, it has to be reasonable to parent and child. Okay, you missed the bus, and you're grounded for a month, you can't go anywhere, you can't play with your friends for a month, well, that doesn't seem reasonable has to be reasonable to both parent and
child number three has to be respectful to parent and child. As a parent, I'm not trying to just hurt you. I'm doing this for your good. So I'm not trying to be oppressive to you. And the child has to respect the rules that have been set up. The child doesn't respect what's been set up, then then that's a problem. Respect has to go both ways. Finally, so what did we deal with we dealt dealt with let me go back, we dealt with natural, then we looked at logical. And then we looked at the three R's of logical. And then now we're on agreed to. So this isn't agreed to are not things that just happen naturally. And agree to aren't always even logical. In Genesis 2, the Lord God commanded the man, you're free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. For new for when you eat it, you will surely die. What? It's not logical. It's not natural. It is, but it's agreed to. Now I don't know if God sat down with Adam and Eve and said, Look, you know, you look, I've given you all these trees, and there's one I don't want you to eat. What do you think about that? You think that's reasonable? Adam and Eve said, Yeah, you know, I think that's reasonable. I don't know. But it was at least, you know, God is letting them know, in advance. Look, here's the situation, okay. Now, in some ways, it doesn't make any sense. Why would a fruit tree that has? The Bible says it was it was good fruit look good, good for eating? And why is that the wrong thing to do? Well, it just is. And let's agree to that. So sometimes with your children, it the rules that you put down, the consequences that you give, are just agreed to, you know, with a teenager, they're going out, you say you have to be home by 11. And if you're not, let's agree that you have to work four hours on Saturday with me. Now, there is a logical if you if you come home late, it doesn't. It doesn't just naturally follow that you have to work on Saturday. And it isn't even logical. What does working on Saturday have to do with coming home late. But let's agree to it. Okay, this is what we're agreeing to. And so if it happens, this is how it's going to go down. Now getting kids to agree to things is way better than not. And that's part of it. Last time, we talked about communication, we talked about negotiating, let's sit down and go, Hey, what would be reasonable? I expect you home at 11 o'clock. Is that reasonable? And the kid goes, Yeah, I think that's reasonable. Okay, if you are if you're late, do you think it's reasonable for me to expect that you work with me for four hours? Or eight hours? And the kid says to ah eight hours? That's quite a Okay, how about four? Okay, let's agree on four. It's reasonable, it's respectful. We can live with this. Okay. So now the child comes home late. Now, I don't have to get angry about it. Because we agreed to we agreed that he had a choice. You have a choice. You can come home on time, and be free on Saturday. Or you can come home late and work on Saturday. It's up to you. So the kid made his choice. So why get angry? Why give a huge lecture. You gave him a choice. He made his choice. So when he comes home late, you just say well, I see you made your choice. We'll see you on Saturday. I need the help. I don't have to get angry. What parents do is they
make these agreements. And then when the child comes late, they not only make them work on Saturday, but they got to lecture them and punish them more. You didn't make the choice I wanted you to make well then don't give them the choice. See, but it's always good to give a choice. It's why, because
when you give a choice, you put the responsibility on them. See, that's how that's often how we parents, keep our kids from taking on responsibility. Because we don't really give them choices. We give them choices, but we want them to do one thing. And if they don't do that one thing we're upset, and we let them know that we're upset. So in other words, we didn't give them a choice at all. So we're not, we're not giving responsibility to them, because responsibility is giving a choice to someone else, and letting them experience the consequences of their choices. If we don't let them choose, if we're negative about whatever choices that they that they make, then we're not handing over responsibility. We're still holding on to it and our kids know it. How do you turn out responsible kids? Roman numeral III, love them unconditionally. Hebrews 12:5-6, and you have forgotten the word of an encouragement that addresses you as sons, my son do not make light of God's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you because the Lord disciplines, those he loves, and he punishes everyone who he accepts as a son. Okay, loving unconditionally, we give responsibility. And we allow them to experience the consequences of whatever they do, that sometimes those consequences are painful, and we stick with those things. And sometimes our kids will be upset with us. Because we live in a rescuing world, they expect you to rescue them, to forgive them to let them off the hook. Because that's the culture that we live in. But you're not doing them any favors, you're not loving them. By letting them off the hook. You're not loving them, by saving them from any all the pain, the pain of their poor decisions. You're just delaying the problem. Because one day, they're going to be out outside of your home, and the world is not going to be that kind. And they're not going to get those connections. See, see when you give responsibility. You're teaching them the connections between things. If you don't work, you don't eat, there's a connection between those things. If you don't show up on time, then you don't get paid. If you don't tell the truth, then people don't trust you. If you're not kind to people, people won't be kind to you see, these are logical things. And kids don't know these connections. So they're growing up in your household. Your job is to help them understand these connections, so that they ultimately can be responsible and ultimately they start making the right choices. Which relates to our next topic, which is the topic of judgment, giving your kids good judgment.