Teaching about responsibility and accountability

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

"It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings."

— Ann Landers


Times have really changed over the past 20 years. Personally, I have huge concern over some of not just children but adults of today and how they are being raised to believe they are owed something without effort or for something in return. As a parent and as “manager” I know firsthand that it is much easier to turn a blind eye or ignore teaching and reprimanding our children for their wrongs. It makes things a lot easier on us, but does it really and is this really the right thing to do. We truly create more work by not managing things than if we have a plan, execute and follow through with it.

Don’t get me wrong at times my daughter (Brandy) has a way of talking me into things that she should be doing for herself, but I also see on the flip side she carries her weight as well. We have talked about teamwork in the home, office and in life on many occasions.

There are times I may see she is carrying a heavy load between her sophomore college studies, part time job she loves and then of course she needs that time to spend with her “sweetheart” or I will stand to be corrected as her fianceé. I will vacuum her room, or wash a load of towels for her or fold some up just to give her a hand.

Brandy has been helping with house work since she was old enough to understand and got the hang of how to sweep dirt and dust into a dustpan. She washes her own clothes and takes care of her own space. If she is off and around the house she helps me with all the cleaning. She likes for things to be in order and is more organized than I am. Of course, there are also times she likes to kick back and not sweat the small stuff. As she continues to grow up I can see that she is really getting it. Yes, I am a proud mother for it.

There are times I may not have things picked up or maybe left a load of clothes in the dryer….can you picture that in your home? If she is ahead of things for school and possibly not working she takes the time to tidy up, empty the dishwasher, fluff the pillows on the couch or pick up a pair of shoes that were not put in the closet. She takes care of it. I get pretty excited (in a bad way) when there are cups or a dirty dishes in my sink with an empty dishwasher as all women do or at least should, so she tries to make sure she takes care of that.

Brandy has never been given an allowance. We never got one from our parents … and just never really thought about it, I could not have afforded it weekly when I was a single parent, so why start something if I could not be consistent. Her step-father and I in addition to her dad and his wife just opened up the wallet and gave based on needs and her contribution to being a helper in the home.

I am teaching Brandy life skills that she will take with her once she leaves the nest. I am not just teaching her how to clean and care for her home, I am teaching her that sometimes you give 40 percent and other times you might give 120 percent but the point is to make that contribution.

We did not “come” from money so we were brought up to understand if you want to move ahead in life we had to work for it. I knew that although you might be hired for a specific job and a specific title your job is to do as you are asked or better yet, if you see something that needs done just do it without asking or for recognition or approval. Take charge. (Of course always within reason … for those that may take things literally.)

Times are changing with business both large and small. We are all trying to find ways to cut expenses.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean do everyone else’s job, that is what they are hired for, but kick in sometimes and lend a hand.

I find it funny when I am answering our phone here at The Daily Courier when our callers seem surprised I am on the other end as advertising director and/or publisher. I have been a helper in answering phones here since I learned how to use the phone system.

If you would have come by on Friday, you might have seen me in the parking lot sweeping up some glass from a bump up in front of the business. I may be found picking up paper at Staples for the staff or at A-1 Vacuum picking up toilet paper and paper towels and then making sure our bathrooms are heavily stocked. You will find me scheduling ads or possibly taking your yard sale ad in classifieds or taking a complaint about a missed delivery to try and resolve that issue.

I believe the more we are involved in learning about what is needed and goes in and around our lively hoods the better chances we having in being a part of trying to fix things or help in resolving things to make them easier or maybe even streamline them a little better.

I feel the same way about my daughter. The more I am involved and showing her how to be a team player and doing her part, she sees me kicking in to help her or her step dad the smoother our house will run because she does the same in my time of need.

Take the time, do your part teach your children and see how you can reap what you sow. I am feeling pretty fortunate. Thanks Brandy.


Lori Spurling is the publisher/ad director of The Daily Courier. She can be reached at lspurling@thedigitalcourier.com