Taking Responsibility

When I started Goat Milk Stuff, somebody recommended that I read the book, The Success Principles – How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be* by Jack Canfield.  I bought it, but never made the time to read it.  Since today is my anniversary and I decided to be “lazy”, I figured it was a good time to finally start reading the book. 

PJ and Indigo

Chapter one begins as follows:

One of the most pervasive myths in the American culture today is that we are entitled to a great life – that somehow, somewhere, someone (certainly not us) is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time, and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist.

But the real truth – and the one lesson this whole book is based on – is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live.

That person is you.

If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life.  This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings – everything!

This is not easy.

What a strong start to a book!  This quote in so many ways summarizes one of the main things that I try to teach my children – that the only person they can change in this life is themselves. 

They can’t change my actions, they can’t change their father’s actions, and they definitely can’t change their siblings’ actions.  But they can change their own actions.  And even more importantly, they can change their own reactions to the events that occur around them. 

Expecting someone else to create the life that they want or to do the hard work and give them what they want is an unrealistic expectation.  They have to pray and work hard to achieve their desires and they have to mold and shape the events they can control so that they move toward that desired outcome.

To use my own life as an example, I wanted a family business.  But I didn’t expect anyone to give it to me.  I didn’t expect people to just buy my product because I wanted to support my family this way.  Instead, I prayed, I worked hard, I made sacrifices, and I created an environment where we as a family could succeed.  And we did succeed, and I take full responsibility for that (although not all the credit – I couldn’t have done it by myself and in my own strength). 

But you know what?  When we have failed, I have taken responsibility for that as well.  I have learned from each time and I have adjusted.  And I have tried again.  And so eventually I have succeeded.

And that is what I want my children to grow up knowing.  Things in life aren’t easy.  And it may seem at times that forces are against them.  But they just have to take responsibility for what is happening in their lives, and not blame it on others.  And definitely not complain about it.

Complaining is one of the biggest things that I try to stamp out in my children (and myself).  I don’t know about you, but I find that it is extremely easy for my children to complain about anything and everything.  I try to teach them that complaining changes nothing and only negatively impacts their attitudes.  If they can take something that they are unhappy with and channel that into a positive action/reaction on their parts, than they can learn and they can improve.

For me, I find that I don’t have any difficulty taking responsibility for my actions.  What I struggle with is taking responsibility for everybody else’s actions.  But I’m working on that.  While I can make it easier or harder for the people in my family to make good decisions as to their behavior, they still have to own their own behavior.

And as the author of the book said, it isn’t easy.

What about you?  What things in your life do you find it easy to take responsibility for?  And where do you struggle?

PJ

 

 

 *Amazon Affiliate Link

Related posts:

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Hannah

    PJ, thanks for another great post! I love how encouraging and yet a bit convicting it is! Made me ask myself if I take 100% responsibility in all areas of my life. I haven’t been a bit lazy when it comes to physical fitness lately, but this morning I got up and took responsibility for that. The beginning excerpt of the book was good…might go get myself a copy too. Thanks!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Hannah!  I’m glad that I managed that balance between encouraging and convicting.  That’s very much what I strive to achieve.  I want to convince people that something needs to change and encourage them to make a change, without crushing their spirits.  It’s funny that you said that.  With Fletcher’s broken leg, I haven’t been on the treadmill in a week and I got on it today too!
      PJ

  • Tiffany Winner

    it’s hard for me to take responsibility when i spend too much or the budget isn’t working out since i’m the one in charge of our finances. easy for me to take responsibility for the kids because it comes so naturally

    • goatmilkstuff

      Tiffany – that made me laugh, because you’re exactly right.  There are some things that are so easy and others that are so difficult.  But at least you recognize it, that’s a good start!
      PJ

  • June

    I admire you and as Michael Johnson said that he failed so many times he became a success.  We definitely learn much from our mistakes.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thank you June!  That also reminds me of the Edison quote that goes something like, “I didn’t fail, I just found 1000 ways not to make a light bulb.”  It’s all in our attitude.  PJ

  • Maverick6779

    I agree that only we can be responsible for the outcome of our success! I know a few people who think that life owes them success because of a downtime they had.. Life owes us nothing.. In fact, I’m typing this from the hospitial bed I’ve been in since last Friday! But no one owes me anything… Only I can make anything out of myself….. Of course I look to God for guidance but my point is, yes… Only we are able to be responsible and answer for ourselves and no one in life owes us anything.. 🙂 May success and love continue to grow in your life.. You’ve worked hard and deserve it!! -Rebecca Young

    • goatmilkstuff

      Oh Rebecca!  I’m so sorry to hear that you are in the hospital!  But it sounds like your attitude is great and your spirits are good.  I said a prayer that your recovery would be swift and as easy as possible.  Thank you so much for the kind words.  I truly appreciate them!
      PJ

  • Mplsdale

    one of, if not the most important thing to teach children

    • goatmilkstuff

      Agreed!
      PJ

  • PriscillaW

    I’m passing on that book title to my husband as he has considered opening up a business.  I struggle, when I get tired & overwhelmed I find it difficult to keep motivated to keep up with managing our children & the household chores.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Priscilla,  I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I was definitely impressed with how he began!  

      I’m sorry you’re struggling – did you read my post about limiting yourself?  As moms, we all have periods of time where we’re stressed an overwhelmed, but if that feeling is the status quo, then you need to find something to change.

      I hope you can do what it takes to make it better!
      PJ

  • Shonda

    I think we try to put the responsibility of our choices on others.  I constantly am teaching my son that the choices he makes affects what happens.  I am teaching him to take responsibility for his choices.  It’s hard, but I do it!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Good for you Shonda!  That’s exactly what parenting is all about – doing the hard things because they’re what’s best for our children!
      PJ

  • Tranicole

    I agree on taking responsibility of your own actions I just had a incident on Thursday and was so draught about it until yesterday I made a point to myself and said its just that time to work hard cause nothing coming to you easily and I set out my goals to start today in a 100% successful matter
    Like this quote from -Howard Thurman-
    ” Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come Alive.”

    This is my all time favorite quote.
    And a mission to grow up and take responsibility for my Actions I so LOVE this blog entry because I’m trying to live Inspired EveryDay:-)

    • goatmilkstuff

      Good for you!  You took responsibility and turned an upsetting incident into something that made you want to work hard and succeed.  That’s exactly what this post is all about.

      Thank you for sharing that quote, it describes a lot how I’m living my life.  And I really appreciate you sharing that you love this blog.  It makes a huge difference to me to know that what I write matters. 🙂

      PJ

  • Chloedex

    As a high school teacher for 30 years, I have seen the quality of responsibility slowly but surely dwindle from my students.  It is always someone else’s fault when they fail a test because the students are not prepared.  The teachers are “mean” mean because they won’t excuse incomplete homework.  I applaude any teacher who will instill and uphold the quality of responsibility in their students.  It is so much easier to let things slide by, to quickly excuse, or to remove from the students any responsibility at all. 

    As a parent and grandparent, I am amazed when the parents of these same students are the first in line to blame the teacher, the principal, and the school in general for requiring students be responsible.  What happened in the last 30 years that made it the responsibility of society to teach character?  Is it the breakdown in church attendance that is prevelent across all religions? 

    I am more aware than ever in teaching character within my class settings.  I have been charged to prepare students for “real life”.  Unfortunately, my idea of “real life” and their idea are at totally different ends of the spectrum.  No matter, I will continue to teach character no matter who becomes angry, upset or just plain mad.  It is a job I readily accept.  It is my responsibility.

    • goatmilkstuff

      This is just so sad.  And it’s so sad because I don’t doubt it at all.  I see parents making excuses for their children all the time and it makes me want to cry because they can’t see the harm they are doing to their children.

      One lesson I learned as a young mom was that I could not make excuses for my children’s behavior just because they were tired.  Yes, they might be tired, and yes it might be my fault that they were tired because I kept them up late, but I still had to punish for bad behavior.  Being tired was not an excuse.  

      Thank you for your commitment to doing the right thing despite the difficulty.  Even though I homeschool, I still wish there were more teachers like you out there!

      PJ

  • Gazella Summitt

    I read your statement(s) with much interest and agree that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions.  Growing up in a segregated society, I could easily have used that as an excuse for not succeeding.  Losing my father at age 16, devastated me, but I chose to go forward with a positive attitude and to use the negative experiences to overcome, acting on his goal for me to have an education. Scholarships and work to support my education became my goal, and although it took 20 years, I have a M.S. degree.  To fill my desire to travel, I worked to become national president of an organzation that allowed to travel throughout the US.  Prayer has always been my strength when faced with adversity, and with God as my guide I have overcome prejudice and loss and have had a successful career and a wonderful marriage with a man God brought into my life 48 years ago, and He blessed us with two beautiful daughters, with successful careers and an awesome grandson.  When a door slams, I fall back on “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Gazella,  What a beautiful response.  That verse is probably one of the verses that gets used around this house the most.  That and “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all you might.”  and “esteem others more highly than yourself” and “do not repay evil for evil”  OK, need to stop, there are a lot we use around here all the time. LOL  But that one is in the top 10!
      Anyway, your story is amazing. It sounds like you took a background that many could have turned into an excuse for giving up, and took responsibility and made an amazing life for yourself.  What an inspiration to your family and others!Thank you so much for sharing that with me.PJ

  • Amanda

    I may have to go get a copy of that book too!  This post was a little uncomfortably convicting.  On a lighter note, I recently had the kids I nanny for start doing their own laundry, they each have their own day and they each only have to wash, dry, and fold their own clothes.  My ten year old has been complaining because it is just too hard to fold her own clothes-there are too many of them.  It reminds me that she still has a long way to go if she thinks that doing her own laundry is too much responsibility.  I’d be living in a dream world if I just had to do my own laundry!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Amanda – I’m glad it was convicting.  For me, reading stuff that makes me uncomfortable is when I make the biggest leaps.  Good for you with the laundry for the kids you watch.  If it were me, every time my ten year old complained that it was too hard to fold her own clothes, I would take one outfit or item away.  And keep it.  If she did a load without complaining, she could earn an outfit back.  In my house, it would take about 3-5 loads before they realized I was really serious and felt the pain.  Of course, if you remove a favorite outfit first, that might speed up the process. LOL
      PJ

  • Mary

    Wow, Great Post, great lesson ~ I struggle with taking responsibility, it is a very very good thing if you can teach this to your children!  They will be so much better for it!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Mary,  I’m sorry that you struggle with this, but I think it’s very good that you can recognize and admit it.  That’s the first step in correcting it.  
      I think that so many parents today make constant excuses for their children and it is sadly to their detriment.
      PJ

  • Andrea

    This is true, but not everything that happens to us is our fault: cancer, abuse, car accidents, unfairness or unkindness of others, being a few. Life isn’t fair, but we still need to stand up and make-do.

    • robyn freeman

      but that is why she said it is most important to be able to change your reatcions to the things that happen to you. some people find out they have cancer and act like it’s the end they are for sure going to die where as other find out they have cancer and live everyday to the fullest it’s thier choice to take responsability for thier emotions and life.

      • goatmilkstuff

        Robyn – that’s it exactly.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  
        PJ

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Andrea – things will always happen to us that we can’t control.  But we can still take responsibility for it in our lives.  We can take responsibility for how we react to it and we can take responsibility for how we accept it in our lives.  And we can take responsibility for whether or not we complain that life isn’t fair.
      PJ

    • Star

       I personally believe that MOST things in our lives are things that we have SOME control over.  Take cancer for instance, in SOME cases a person can do everything right and still get cancer…in MOST cases the decisions we’ve made (whether conscious of these or not) throughout our lives can significantly increase or decrease our likelihood of cancer (like poor diet choices, smoking, excessive drinking…etc.).  Just because we can’t control 100% of something doesn’t mean we should not look for the parts we CAN control.     

      For me, developing personal responsibility is like trying to develop (or undo) any other habit.  Habits are not formed overnight, they are created by every decision we make.  Every positive decision we make makes it easier to make the next positive decision just as every negative decision we make makes it easier for us to make more negative decisions.  The same goes for developing a sense of responsibility.  Every time we choose to assess a situation and look for aspects we CAN control, the easier it is for us to recognize these aspects next time.  The more we look for various things to lay blame on, the easier it is for us to be the victim the next time.  It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised.

      No, life is not fair and there are certainly many things in our lives that we cannot control but I don’t believe that’s the focus of the book nor is it the focus of this post.  After all, there is no sense giving our attention to things we cannot control.  It makes much more sense to focus our attention on trying to take responsibility for anything we CAN take responsibility for…even if it’s the smallest thing.

  • Jana Wilcox

    Oh my goodness..I’m going to have to find my book. Bought that book a year back or two and have read it here and there.  You have inspired me to open it again, – thank you.  Loved your post.  – 🙂

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hey Jana,  We’ll have to see which one of us can actually finish it first – it’s a big book! LOL  I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, I appreciate that!
      PJ

  • robyn freeman

    i am trying to teach my kids the same thing right now my son is 6 and my daughter is 3 yesterday my son was pretending to hammer with his toy hammer (which still hurts by the way) my daughter was sitting on his bed on the other side i was watching them secretly and saw him get up go to her and hit her in the head with the hammer then run and sat back down where he was i went into my room to see what he would do when she came in and was crying in pain and told me what he did i called him into my room asked him what happened and he said “it was an accident” then i asked him to tell me the truth and he wont get into as much trouble and he stuck to his guns and kept saying it was an accident i tried to explain to him to take responsability for what he did because what he did was not right and he needs to help keep harm from his little sister. well after about 10 mins of him lying i finally told him i saw the whole thing after i realized he was not going to take resposability for his actions and he got sent to his room with no toys or books for 2 hours then he had to stay in his room till his dad came home (which was only a few hours later) but im trying to give them the chance to learn and i teach them but it seems like it goes in one ear and out the other (who hasnt heard that one before lol)

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Robyn,  Great story!  And I agree it takes a whole lot of repetition for it to stick.  One thing that I have learned is that how we discipline makes a huge difference in how quickly the children learn.  

      And good for you for taking the time to discipline him!!

      I’d like to share how I would have disciplined my children in that situation.  If my child lies, I have to help them make the connection to the fact that they have to think about what they say and learn to control what comes out of their mouths.  So for me, any punishment for lying is always connected to their tongue.  The easiest one is to wash their mouth out with soap.  This doesn’t harm them (especially if you use GMS soap LOL), but if you don’t let them eat anything else, that soapy taste stays with them and is a good reminder on the fact that they have to control their words.

      For hitting her on the head, I would have had him do something kind for her such as helping her with one of her chores or doing something that would make her happy.  You’re trying to teach him to treat her with kindness and love.

      It is very difficult for most young children to connect their punishments to the actual “crime” they committed.  Who am I kidding, most teens and adults have difficulty with that too.  The more you can have them mentally associate the discipline with their misbehavior, the faster you will see results with your disciplining effort.

      I hope that helps and that you take it in the spirit it was given.  I just want to share with you something that has worked really well for me (when I take the time to do it).  The hard part is that it takes more effort and creativity to connect the punishments to the crimes.

      PJ

  • MeKenzie Pritchard

     I’m going to have to read up more on this ! Sometimes we go over look how our life goes about by blaming others and depending on them. When all along its all about what we can do for ourselves! There needs to be more self awareness.

    • goatmilkstuff

      I agree.  I think in today’s culture it is so easy to be entertained that few people take the time to stop and really think.
      PJ

  • Lori Byrd

    You are an amazing strong woman who has worked very hard. Enjoy your success with this wonderful Goat milk products! Thank you

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thanks, Lori!  I’m definitely trying!
      PJ

  • Ashley J

    Thank you for this post! This pretty much sums up the great deal of growing up I went through in the last few years. I used to feel entitled to everything and I spent all day complaining. I was miserable and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get happy. Changing my perspective and taking responsibility changed my life. I wish I had it instilled in me as a young child but it wasn’t something that I fully learned until much later in life. Hopefully it’s better late than never. 

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Ashley,  Good for you for growing up and learning this lesson.  It is much harder to learn the older we get, but it shows the strength of your character that you were willing to change and accept responsibility.  And honestly, I think the things that we learn as adults are much more meaningful because we remember how painful it was when we hadn’t learned the lesson.

      PJ

  • Elaine

    That was a thought-provoking blog.  Having my own business too, I think a lot about this topic.  And I agree with most of what you wrote.  🙂

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thanks, Elaine!  What didn’t you agree with? 
      PJ

  • Fellbergeileen

    I feel confident that helping children work at a young age makes them responsible and willing workers as they grow up. 

    • goatmilkstuff

      I agree with you 100%

      PJ

  • David

    Personal responsibility was something I always stressed when I was teaching. I taught elementary school for 38 years. I told my kids that they were the ones who decided to do or not to do their homework. They decided how to  behave on the playground. It was their decision to do their best or just enough to get by. When they chose their actions, they also chose the consequences. 

    • goatmilkstuff

      I wish there were more teachers like you out there!!
      PJ

  • Sue Stephens

    I will get the book to read as it seems to inforce what I believe and what I have tried to teach my children and grandchildren.  Nothing in life is free nor is it owed to you.  There is always a choice (sometime it is which is which is bad or worse) and with each choice there are consequenses, good or bad.  It is very hard to say no or to allow them to make their own mistakes but you cannot expect them to take responsibility their actions if they are not allowed to make choices.  I do not know why we as parents feel we need to make things better, easier, for our children.  As I reflect back my life was wonderful and with my parents guidence and prayer they taught me responsiblity.  We need more family and prayer in our lifes to be responsible people .  God bless you and your family. 

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thanks, Sue!  I’m looking forward to reading more of the book and hoping that it lives up to the beginning.  I completely agree with this statement you made:  

      I do not know why we as parents feel we need to make things better, easier, for our children.

      I want my children to have a great life, which does not mean one that is easy. 😉

      PJ

  • Mary

    PJ, I think I will look into reading this myself and maybe pass on a copy to my nephew. It is sometimes very difficult to take responsibility. I am interested in finding out more of what the author says. Thanks for suggesting the book!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Mary – I hope the rest of the book is as good as the beginning! 🙂  

      PJ

  • This is something that I have really been talking to my sons about lately.  That nothing in life is free and if they really want to do something, they have to work hard and really want it to succeed.  My son is a huge admirer of Michael Jackson and he was watching the movie about the Jackson 5 the other day on TV.  I told him, “They became a success, but you see that they worked really hard to get there.”  Now I know that Joe Jackson worked those boys too hard and they never really had a childhood so I also explained that to my son by telling him that you have to work hard, but that doesn’t mean that life has to be all work and no play.  You just have to find the right balance.  Great post!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thanks, Michelle!
      That’s a great example.  Our motto around here has always been “We work hard so we can play hard”. 🙂
      PJ

  • Jdcasey

    I just started reading your blog more often and find you someone to admire for your hardwork and wonderful job you are doing with your children.  My husband and I have 5 children and are also self-employed and struggle with teaching self-reliance, self-motivation and responsiblitiy in our children. When things go wrong or when not done correctly we want them to take responsible for there actions or lack of.  It takes time and energy and a lot and patience. 

    My children have chores to do everyday, depending on how busy we are sometimes they get it done and other times they don’t.  With summer I am finding that they are getting quite lazy.  Recently I had to take ipods and phones away from them along with some priviledges.  What hurt them the most was the technology items.  They couldn’t keep in touch with friends and or listen to thier music.  I have to say that they got the chores done in record time. Amazing what motivates kids.

    I don’t know haw many times I have heard parents talk about how the teacher/school did this or that when thier kid messed up. I am always amazed to hear them talk bad about the teacher or school in front of the kids and then wonder why the child doesn’t have any respect for the teacher.  If every parent would teach and actually take responsibilty for there own actions the world would be a much better place. 

    Thank you for all you do for your children.  With Gods help we can all make the world a better place. 

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thank you so much for those kind words!!  I really appreciate them.  I agree that it’s awful to hear parents making excuses for their children and blaming others and setting their children up for a lifetime of avoiding responsibility.  

      Good for you for taking the time to teach them responsibility, because you’re right, it does take time!!
      PJ

  • Connie Krug

    I have always had a hard time taking responsibility for my own mistakes.  But as I have grown older and grown in my faith, that’s been my goal.  Since I have put into practice using the phrase “I’m sorry, I was wrong, I apologize.”  I have experienced deeper relationships with friends and family and a closer relationship with Jesus.  It’s amazing how people respond to this honest open response to a mistake.  It has opened many doors for me and given me oportunities to “do over” something that I messed up the first time.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Connie – Isn’t it amazing how difficult those words can be to say and what an amazing impact they have when we can bring ourselves to say them?  I’m proud of you for being humble enough to learn and accept responsibility!!
      PJ

  • Annie

    We raised our sons to work hard and seek educational opportunities, to just “play” when they are youngsters, create incredible “care-free” memories and added age appropriate household and school responsibitlies ea. year. We explained that while we were proud of them for acheiving great grades, they were the ones who would benefit the most from them. There was always age appropriate rewards and fun along the way. They grew up knowing that we expected them to go on to college, and that their college degree must end with an employable degree, otherwise it is wasted money. Of course we did not force them to chose a certain degree, but always guided them according to their “bent”. There is a difference between what can get you employed and what are “hobbies”.  Our sons, would complain along the way that they weren’t “happy” with this or that. We would explain that most people in this world are not “happy” going to work. That is why it is “work”. Most of us don’t enjoy a large percentage of the chores that need to be done at home and/or our jobs. Those “things’ that we don’t enjoy, still need to be done-that’s part of the job! Our oldest son is 27 and just graduated from Medical school and has begun his Residency. Our youngest has also graduated with his Masters and has been working long hours as well as studying for all 4 parts of the CPA exam. He has just taken his 3rd one. After all of their education, both realise they are still at the “bottom” of their employable positions. While they are thankful that they are receiving a paycheck after all of their hard work, I have noticed that they are complaining alot less, now that they are fully responsible for themselves. It takes a very long time for hardwork to pay-off ,so-to-speak. Everything is so fast-paced in our world now, and this is the hardest lesson for young children/young adults to learn. Discipline, perserverence and love from family help us  all achieve our goals on this side of Heaven. Jesus Christ has paid the price and done all of the work, for us to enter on the other side of Heaven! In that we can find happiness!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Annie – that was beautifully said!  I especially loved (and agree with) this: 
       

      It takes a very long time for hardwork to pay-off ,so-to-speak. Everything is so fast-paced in our world now, and this is the hardest lesson for young children/young adults to learn.

      So true!!
      PJ

  • Steve

    Wow! Great post. Right now we have one granddaughter who takes no responsibility for her actions and this saddens and frustrates my wife and I as we never raised our daughter that way. I’m going to check out that book. Thanks

    • goatmilkstuff

      That is sad.  I said a prayer that you can find something to help her!  PJ

  • Drlama5881

    We have very similar parenting philosophies. One thing that has just recently came to light for me is my thirty-one year old daughter thanking me for being a well rounded parent to her. As a mother of an eighteen month old son who was having a “small issue” understanding why his cup needed to be placed on the coster instead of the floor she looked at me and simply said thank you. Later, in the kitchen, we were talking over dishes like most every other day for thirty years and she elaborated, thanking me for being a full time parent and not expecting others, magic, or luck in forming the kind of person she has become. Knowing you have given your child life skills will forever rank in my top five accomplishments. What a feeling of pride I have watching her paying it forward.

    • goatmilkstuff

      That is wonderful!  If it had been me, I probably would have started crying.  That’s the exact thing I hope to hear some day.  Good job, Mom!!

      PJ

  • D.B

    I have trouble balancing things. I know I do. I don’t like to accept that, but it is part of my struggle. I don’t like to be responsible for a grown child. I feel that their mistake was mostly their fault. Unfortunately, I come back to the thought, if I raised them 100% correct they wouldn’t face these challenges as adults.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Nobody can raise children 100% correctly. We do the best we can. At some point they do need own their mistakes. Part of good parenting is making them accept responsibility for their actions and not remove the consequences because you feel any guilt! PJ

  • christina

    Being present is a struggle with all the distractions in the world around us but really listening to people, being kind and remembering that we’re all in this life together, just be nicer to each other, help where you can ask for help if you need it, take care of yourself and other, be thoughtful, respectful and try to laugh everyday.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Those are all very good things to remember! I think if everyone tried harder to laugh everyday and make somebody else smile or laugh everyday, the world would be a much nicer place. 🙂 PJ

  • Ann Ellenburg Korchnak

    Great post! I love that you’re teaching responsibility as well as letting the kids play and have fun. I see the results of so many children not being taught responsibility and it isn’t pretty. I have two grown daughters and I did my best to teach them to be responsible for their actions and to train them to work. They now have babies and say they want to do the same for their children. That makes me happy. 🙂

    • goatmilkstuff

      That makes me very happy to hear too! Good job, Mama! 🙂
      PJ

  • Janine Ann Martinez

    I took my son to the McDonald’s Playplace the other day (he’s 3) and was watching the kids play. When another family’s brother and sister joined the fun, I told my son, “Ladies first!”. Her older brother told my son, “No, no ladies first!”. His mother took him aside and explained to him that if I wanted to teach my son to let ladies go first, he had no right to disagree with me. In fact, she told him that it was a good principle to follow. I am glad that I was able to serve as an example to her and her family, but am sad that she has not raised her kids to be polite. I take the responsibility of raising my son very seriously and have received many compliments on how polite he is for a 3-year old. I try to teach him every day that his actions have consequences and that he doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but must interact with others in society. I guess the area in which I struggle most is represented by the case of the older boy telling my son not to respect ladies. I wonder as my son gets older if the Christian family values we instill in him will stand up to the pressures of the outside world telling him differently. 🙁

    • goatmilkstuff

      Hi Janine – Good for you! I believe those values will stand the test of time. Not that he won’t give in, not that he won’t make mistakes. But it’s hard to completely forget (or purposely ignore) what you’ve had drilled into you from a young age.

      I think the other Mom did a great job as well. To a lot of brothers, sisters aren’t “ladies”. And the story that you are relating sounds like being polite is important to her, but she may not be teaching the “ladies first” rule. In our house, it’s “youngest first”, whether they are boys or girls. As the children reach teenage years – then the “ladies first” kicks in. 🙂

      PJ