Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Personal responsibility and where did it go?

I realize even before I start typing this that I am going to come off as sounding like an old lady. Hopefully it won't be quite as bad as when our grandmothers said "I had to walk barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways to school when I was your age!"

Personal responsibility. It seems to have gone by the wayside with children these days. The bf has a friend from work who is always talking about how his kids won't do their homework. It's a struggle each and every day apparently. Recently HE stayed up late finishing one of the kid's projects. This makes me shake my head and get rather angry at the same time.

Students that I go to college with, young adults, constantly are asking for more time for assignments, saying that they just couldn't get it done, blah, blah. Then they complain if they aren't give more time or a high grade when they turn in something late. I have never had an assignment just given to me the day before. We usually have several weeks notice and sometimes even a semesters notice if it is a big project.

At what age does it become the child's own personal responsibility to get their stuff done and turned it? I feel that by 2nd or 3rd grade a child should KNOW that they have homework and that it should be done and turned in. Sure, parents should check with them and make sure that it is all together but it should be the kid's responsibility to actually do the work.

When I went to school and when my own children went to school a few years ago, there was one big difference than the way it is now. IF you didn't do your homework? didn't turn it in? There were consequences. That the child had to pay, not the parent.  If my kids were behind in their studies they had privileges taken away at school. The school took care of it and unless it got to a really bad place then the parents weren't even contacted. Sporting events, field trips, recesses,  any and all "fun" things were taken away if you were behind in your homework or studies. The peer pressure to be able to do all the fun stuff and go on the trips and to the sporting events kept kids in line. They did not want to be the only member of the class to stay back at the school when everyone else was having fun. Plus the fact that there was a level of respect that the kids did NOT want to disappoint their teacher. Or for that matter, their parents.

It is just so different today. Parents blame the teachers, the school, anyone but themselves or their child for the problems that little Jimmy is having at school. These kids are being set up for failure. If children are not taught that there are consequences to their actions at an early age, how are they ever supposed to know? If they are not held to higher standards and taught that personal responsibility is a good thing, how can they ever survive in the real world?


  1. My 4th grader has to tell me what she needs to complete. She does it and I check it if she has questions. Failing is a part of learning as well.