Personal responsibility vs self-entitlement
What you need to know:
- I vividly recall students who were visited every weekend for the 12 or so weeks we were at school and during each visit, they would receive a change of clothes including beddings and underwear.
Unlike today where students in boarding school are visited once a month or once a term by their parents and or guardians, when we were in high school, we had the liberty to be visited every weekend.
I vividly recall students who were visited every weekend for the 12 or so weeks we were at school and during each visit, they would receive a change of clothes including beddings and underwear.
Technically, they never did laundry because they would send the dirty clothes home every week. While the rest of us did our laundry on Friday evening or Saturday morning, our mates would do the rounds catching up and laughing with friends.
Recently, I got notice from the child at school that I should call back. On calling back, this dear child tactfully requested that I send him some clean clothes because he is doing exams.
I laughed so hard, I am sure he was not even surprised. I asked why he would ask for such a ridiculous favour, after all he had everything he needed to wash his own clothes.
“Mommy, there are red ants that get into my clothes and they are so difficult to remove,” he replied sheepishly. I could have fallen off my chair laughing. “What do the ants do?” I asked feigning ignorance. “They get into my clothes, mom. I really need a set of fresh clean clothes,” he whispered.
“Forget it.” “It won’t happen.” I said firmly. “Okay mommy,” he replied. It must be a natural thing to test waters and our children are no exception. They will stop at nothing. Oftentimes, they will not hesitate to put across crazy wish lists hoping that maybe, just maybe, the parent may send them to the moon or buy them a commercial airplane.
Every parent has the ability to love their children into spaces of personal responsibility and maturity or to push them into spaces of entitlement, naivety and or self-sabotage. All this is within our control. Personal grooming and responsibility is one of the skills we picked from boarding school. In that environment, we were pushed to understand that there was more to life than our little selfish world.
I often ask myself if I am doing my children enough justice in how I am raising and them? Am I helping them to truly grow into independent thinkers and seekers of solutions or I am covering them from the harsh reality of learning to fend for themselves ? Tough times grow us. True love is when mother eagle drops her eaglets in mid-air so that they can learn to fly on their own.