Accountability – Perceiving Accountability as an Opportunity for Learning
Children are real life superheroes. From the moment they are able to comprehend words and actions, they are able to choose how to respond to what goes on around them. Our sacred job is to improve their natural born skills and add new ones to help them thrive in life. Accountability is one of the superpowers children need to live a life that allows them to stretch forward and take on whatever challenges life throws at them with an optimistic attitude. The truth is that accountability can feel like an icky experience. Changing our perspective towards it and influencing children to see the potential it carries is the best way to use it to our advantage.
When is the right time to teach children about accountability – accountability for their possessions, accountability for their behaviour, accountability for facing the consequences of their choices and actions? Should we wait until they are in Primary School to begin instilling these important lessons? Should they only be taught about accountability when they do not react to certain situations in a way that we believe they should? Do we measure our ability or inability to instil the lessons into our children by how other parents/caregivers get it right (or don’t) and how their children act? Have you ever felt awkward when you have had to call your child out and hold them accountable? Have you felt guilty for making them feel bad? And have you let it slide because, well, they are still young and do not need so much pressure added to their little lives yet?
I began writing this article reflecting on my few years working with children and how I struggled with teaching children to be accountable. Even as an adult, being held accountable for my actions, or inaction, often felt like a prickly cactus plant was being rubbed on my heart. There are still times when it feels uncomfortable. To this day, I am working on accepting and being comfortable with being held accountable without giving into anxiety, or over thinking the constructive criticism and not taking it personally or being overly sensitive about the matter at hand. To change my perspective and see being accountable as an opportunity for growth and learning, instead of a judgement of/on whatever I may have done wrong or could do better.
Kids Life Coaching is a preventative method of instilling lessons like accountability in children. The lesson of accountability is a serious one but how we go about empowering a child with the skill is done in an age-appropriate way. If you have read our Special Report and read my colleagues’ articles, then you should know by now that the way in which we guide children is grounded in fun. We communicate and educate them in these significant lessons by using the Universal Childhood Language called PLAY. Look it up, it is real. And our track record, at The Kids Life Studio®, is proof that what we do and how we do it, works!
We prefer to coach children and prepare them with the skills they need to use accountability as a strength that allows them to live a Zeal Inspired Life. Why wait until the power struggles with your child get out of hand then only get assistance to change your child’s behaviour after things have blown up in the home? This is not to say that we are not available if the situation at home has reached these proportions. We love to work with children and embrace who they are at any point of their lives. As a global team of World Class Kids Life Coaches, we also strongly advocate for equipping children with the skills they need to be in control of how they choose to behave, without falling into the trap of a victim mentality, while they are young and before challenges with behaviour, relating to lack of accountability, start. Life is full of trials and challenges. Yes, people around us can negatively affect us and harm or hurt us, yet the undeniable truth remains that we are solely responsible for ourselves and accountable for our own actions, reactions and/or responses to all that happens outside of us.
Teaching your child to be accountable may be uncomfortable for you and you may not know how to do it right, or you may be struggling with all that is going on in this beautiful world of ours right now. Boundaries are blurred, routines are inconsistent or barely exist, and responsibilities, including family chores or duties have all been mashed up into a ball of confusion during the lockdown. So why not reach out to our global network of Kids Life Coaches to help you and your child/ren re-adjust and take back control of yourselves, your actions and choices? In Kids Life Coaching, accountability is about being in control of one’s self. That means that in spite of everything going on in the Outside World, you are still able to be in control of your Inside World. Pandemic or no pandemic, you are the one who Leads Your Own Life – the choices you make, the actions you take. You are at the centre of these.
Coaching children to view accountability as a good thing from a young age forms part of building the solid foundation for future-proofing them to be responsible and culpable tweens, teens, young adults and adult citizens. To succeed in life, we know that perspective is e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. With that said, I encourage you to contact any one of our Kids Life Studio® certified Kids Life Coaches to be the trusted wise guide and companion your child deserves, as they, just like you, adjust to the shifts and variations our world is currently presenting to us. We are here for you and ready to help.
Joyful Tribe Kids life Studio® – Northern Cape, South Africa
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