Taking responsibility in 2013

Parent Connection

Bryan GreesonJanuary 2, 2013 

Most folks either see the glass as half empty or half full. I have always been the latter, but on this the first day of 2013, I'll admit I'm not feeling very optimistic about what the New Year may bring to our nation.

Perhaps it's the looming fiscal cliff that, at the time I sit here tapping away on my laptop, is still anybody's guess. My take is so many of our elected officials seem indifferent as to the glass being half empty or half full. They just don't want to bother picking it up and placing it into the dishwasher. "I didn't get it dirty. Let someone else take care of it."

Someone else. Many of you will be making New Year's resolutions in coming days. Some of you who are parents will hopefully reflect back on 2012 and realize some needed changes (whether major transformations or simple tweaks to your child-rearing) and put new practices into place. Whether you set goals for the New Year or not, I would like to encourage parents today to consider my thoughts on the issue of "someone else."

We live in a culture that, though generous of time, gifts and money can also be quite self-absorbed. Self-focus and the all about me attitudes of many will naturally lead to pointing the finger at someone else. This mindset can lead to it must be someone else's problem, it's someone else's responsibility or it's someone else's fault. Whatever "it" is.

As a mom or dad, are you looking the other way with what you know is your child's problem, lacking in responsibility, or find yourself constantly blaming others for the troubles at hand? It may be that your little Bradley is a bully and making life miserable for others. Maybe it's your Susie who once again didn't show up for a babysitting job. Do thoughts of your child's school bring memories of countless meetings over the past year in which you never listened and only cast blame on the educators sitting around the conference table?

2013 may be a year of years. I guess we all have no idea of what the New Year may bring. But I do know this. We as parents have got to examine our current practices of child rearing and make some determinations. Are we preparing our children for a future that is economically uncertain at best? Are we doing those things we need to do to foster a generation of future young adults who will help solve our nation's problems? More importantly, are we as adults making such a mess of our world that the next generation, no matter how strong, will be unable to get us back on track?

My wish for a global resolution made by today's parents would be to simply stop thinking "someone else." Let's focus on being parents who don't look the other way and hope, shirk our responsibilities, or constantly point the finger and blame others for what's wrong in our families. It's time for us to pick up the dirty glass, wash it responsibly and fill it to the rim for the next person's use.

Bryan Greeson, a nationally certified School Psychologist, serves as the Director of Special Services in York School District One. E-Mail him at parentconnection@hotmail.com.

Bryan Greeson, a nationally certified School Psychologist, serves as the Director of Special Services in York School District One. E-Mail him at parentconnection@hotmail.com.

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