From the Principal’s Desk – 02 March, 2017
I read an interesting article this week regarding the concept of accountability. It went as follows “When you blame others, you give up your power to change”. In today’s fast paced world the concept of accountability is proving more difficult for some people to acknowledge and accept, often making situations more complicated and frustratingly difficult to solve. On the accountability continuum there are two opposing ends of the spectrum. The one is that of seeing yourself as a VICTIM and on the other seeing yourself as ACCOUNTABLE.
A victim mentality only results in a person blaming others for their actions and or circumstances (it was not my fault that I was late for school), making countless personal excuses for their behaviour (I lied about something because I was scared of my mother) and ultimately waiting, hoping that difficult situations will get better in time (the typical ostrich in the head response to a situation one does not want to deal with).
A person who demonstrates accountability learns quickly to acknowledge reality (yes this is a tough spot and it is what it is), makes a decision to “own it” (this is my mess and only I can get myself out of it) and invariably works to find solutions to their problems (what do I need to do to move through the current situation to solve my dilemma).
The question for all of us is where do each of us (and our children) stand on the accountability spectrum? Do we have a victim mentality or do we take responsibility for our actions?
One of the most precious gifts we can ever hope to give our children is the important lesson of accountability. It teaches us to take responsibility for our actions, to be humble, to learn the lesson and most importantly figure out how to problem-solve situations for ourselves, setting us up to be independent thinkers and doers. As parents and educators all too often we may feel the overriding desire to over-protect our child and to “catch them before they fall”, either to ease their pain or not burden them. This in itself can have rather disastrous consequences, especially down the line when the challenges of life get more complicated and complex. If a child learns never to be accountable for his/her actions they can never learn from their mistakes. The big wide world of “life after school” can be a frightening and daunting place, and if we as a school community have not played our role to teach these important life lessons in the safe controlled environment that is ‘school’, we risk sending our children out into a world that will only chew them up and spit them out!
And so in closing may I end off with the following words:
“Better an oops than a what if”