I think one of the biggest problems in society that we face today is taking ownership for our role in problems we face. There are instances where we are not at all at fault, but those are few and far between. The majority of the time, we are responsible for the issues we face in some way, shape, or form.
If you take a look at the stories on the so-called “millennials”; you will see a group of young people who lack ownership. They are always in need of therapy, a time out, or a day from school. These are the children who were raised in environments where they never lost. They were given a trophy for everything even though they may not have won or simply did not deserve it. When they shared with someone, they were praised. When they did anything that they should be doing, they were rewarded. When they did something they should not be doing, we had an excuse as to why they did it. Many of us laugh at there behavior, but it really is not funny. My age group is the one who raised these children. We are directly responsible for some of this behavior. If you own it, you will see it is not so funny anymore. Where did we go wrong? Perhaps it was the fact we wanted life to be fair when it simply is not fair. In life, things happen. Behaviors of some kinds are expected and not rewarded. When we stumble and fall, we must look at the problem and brush off and start again. We learn lessons as we go. Our school systems, our parenting styles, our media, and many others have made them feel they have rights they simply do not have. We have also been quick to call it a disorder and hand them a pill to solve it all. We blame it on anger, resentment, or whatever we can. They at some point, must learn to own their problems. We at some point, must check how we are parenting.
We also see lack of ownership in politics. I have not seen one politician take ownership for the mess our country is in. They are always pointing the finger at another group. I see many Americans upset about the condition our country is in, but yet none of us used the power of the people to demand change. We must own the fact we have sat around and allowed this to happen. Complaining and arguing about it does not solve it. It takes work to get things done.
I have saw countless news stories involving murders or crimes where people actually want to look into the psyche of a person who committed the crime. The list of blame games on social media goes on and on. Until we decide to take ownership, we will continue to have a whirlwind of problems.
How do we change these problems? How do we handle these issues? We must first evaluate how we are taking ownership in our own lives.
It is important we start looking first at our own issues in life and how we tackle them. In almost any situation, you are to blame for part of it. Start looking at your situation and deciding how you can change to avoid future problems like the one you are facing.
For instance, my current court case caused me to do some self-evaluation (See my article on filing pro-se for more info). Here, I had a landlord who did not do as he promised, who lied in court, and tried to sue me for $15,000. It was not my fault he did these things and it was quite astonishing to find out how manipulating this man truly was. However, I am to blame in some of this. I did not bother looking into my landlord. I did not ask around about how he was as a person. I chose to believe the rosy picture he painted and not think twice about the potential problems my living situation may cause. I did not bother to drive through the neighborhood at different hours of the day to see what was going on. Lastly, I stretched my budget to the limit by renting in the first place. When problems arose, I did not have the money to solve them immediately or fight back. This is a lesson I have learned and it was a very difficult one. However, I now know it is just as important to look into your landlord as it is for your landlord to look into you. I have learned not to stretch my budget this far. I have learned not to believe everything that you have been told. My situation shows how important it is that we self evaluate each and every problem we face and see where we can change.
It is our duty as parents to make sure our children learn to take ownership. We have a school system who has become highly political and oftentimes will even buck the way we have raised our children. We have given the school system far too much control over our day-to-day child rearing. We have been too busy with work or other life issues to pay much attention to it. Schools were put in place to teach, not to raise. We must fight the added curriculum they want to enforce that does not involve learning, but involves their own political agenda.
We must quit allowing our children to rule over us. We must start making them abide by the rules.
The other day, I watched a video of a young child running up and down the pathway of a bowling ball game at a entertainment venue. She was having a blast running up and down the aisle with ball in hand. The parents were video taping how cute she was. However, I am certain the people around her who paid money to play their game were not so happy. They are trying to play while she is in the way. Although this act was innocent, and she was having fun; there is a rule being broken. You are not allowed to run up and down isles no matter how fun it is.
I have also seen countless videos of children enraged and screaming on videos whether it be in the car or at a public event. The parents are perplexed and asking questions on how to handle the situation.
I have saw children in stores throwing fits while parents are calmly asking them to quiet down. You can tell the parents are highly stressed and worn out by this enraged child.
I see parents who get no sleep because their children are up all night. Yet, they do nothing to solve the problem.
These same parents are running to the doctor asking what is wrong with their child. They want to make excuses for their behavior.
Folks, it does not hurt to punish a child. Matter of fact, it is very important. Children need structure and it is our responsibility to do it. It is a form of neglect not to punish your child. You must be firm and strong and teach your children rules.
There are several times that I have left a fun place because my children refuse to listen. There are times I have had to be firm and warn my children to get in bed or else. I have had to make my children sit out of the fun because they refuse to obey rules. However, this taught them a lesson. They know when they are out of line, they miss out. Fits and screaming are not tolerated in my home. When it happens, you are punished. If you do it in public, I leave and I take you home and I go out without you next time.
If one form of punishment does not work, you try another. Once a child learns that fun is taken away when they act out, they will stop. Always give your child a second chance to redeem themselves. Nine times out of ten, their behavior will change. Praise them for it and show them how fun it can be when they behave.
You can not put emotions into play when bad behavior is exhibited. You must also teach your children their emotions can not be a reason to misbehave. It is called emotional regulation. Emotions are validated. We all get angry, sad, and upset. However, we must learn to control and contain those emotions and act civilized. Not everything in life is fair. Not all rules we abide by are fair. However, we do have rules and behavior we must exhibit and we must control our emotions regardless.
One of the biggest beefs I have today is the amount of young children being diagnosed with ADHD. They are given drugs such as Ritalin and are given an excuse to behave the way they do. The schools are notified, the parents use it as a tool, and they are drugged in the process. ADHD is a problem, but it is not as big as people claim.
The majority of time, children need behavior modification. This comes in the form of better parenting skills and teaching children emotional regulation. Behavior cannot be corrected by a drug. Do not allow your child to be labeled until all else fails. This is something they must live with the rest of their lives. Why would you want them labeled if behavior is the sole issue?
Find a behaviorist that can help you teach a child critical skills. Focus on how you parent and approach situations. Do all you can to change them without the drugs. It takes work, but it is worth it in the end. There are people with disorders in life, but not as many as we want to claim. These labels and drugs are being handed out like candy.
We have been given a gift of parenting and we must enjoy and savor every moment of it. However, we must not allow a child to be in control or lose our sanity in the process. Parenting can be enjoyable and discipline is a must.
It is time each and every one of us start focusing on our own doings and on our own families first. Like the old saying goes “when you point fingers, three are pointing back at you”. There are very few times when we are not to blame at all. Most of the time, when we look at situations, we see we have some things we need to own. Focus on being a better person, a better parent, and the changes you need to make in your own life. It never hurts to admit when we are wrong. Matter of fact, it feels good to take ownership. If we all did these things, the world would be a better place and our children would have a better future.