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Parenting and Personal Responsibility: Teaching Children to Own Their Actions



In a society increasingly fraught with the delegation of personal responsibility to external entities, whether governmental or societal, the pivotal role of parenting in instilling a sense of personal responsibility in children has never been more critical. The amalgamation of insights from judicial philosophers, economists, psychologists, and security experts provides a nuanced lens through which we can examine the importance of teaching children to own their actions.


The essence of personal responsibility lies in understanding that one's actions have consequences and that individuals must bear the weight of these outcomes. This principle, echoing through the corridors of philosophical thought and economic theory, suggests that a well-ordered society relies on individuals who can discern right from wrong and are willing to accept the repercussions of their decisions. The common age of intent for nearly every childhood scientist is around 6 years of age, however, in the Northern Territory of Australia, due to political imposition and identity politics, the age of intent is 12 years old, and this has had evidently extremely destructive effects on the children and the community.


The journey towards personal responsibility begins in childhood. The role of parents, then, transcends mere provision and protection, extending into the realms of moral and ethical education. Children learn to navigate the complex web of social interactions and personal decisions through the guidance and example set by their caregivers. In the Northern Territory of Australia, where diverse cultures converge and the landscape itself teaches lessons of resilience and respect, the task of parenting carries unique challenges and opportunities.


Consider the story of a family in a remote community in the Northern Territory, where daily life is interwoven with the principles of personal responsibility. Here, children are taught from a young age to contribute to their community, whether through participation in traditional hunting practices or by engaging in school and community projects. These activities are not merely chores but lessons in understanding the impact of one’s actions on the broader community and environment. However, where the traditional interactions or family unit are fractured, these children then rely upon the "laws of the land" to effectively regulate their behaviour, and it has become painfully obvious in the NT, they do not.


Drawing from the field of economics, the importance of personal responsibility is underscored by the concept of 'moral hazard,' where the absence of accountability leads to riskier behaviour. Parents can teach their children about the economic value of integrity and responsibility by setting examples of prudent financial management and by encouraging their children to make decisions that reflect an understanding of cost, benefit, and consequence. This is near impossible in households in the grip of generational welfare dependency.


From psychology, it is suggested that the development of a child's personality and behavioural outcomes is significantly influenced by the environment in which they are raised. By fostering an environment where personal responsibility is valued and practiced, parents help develop resilience, self-efficacy, and a healthy sense of self in their children. However, in an environment of parental neglect and abuse, the lessons learned are substantially different.


Security personnel can contribute to this discourse by highlighting the importance of creating safe environments for children, not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. Teaching children to own their actions includes guiding them in understanding the consequences of their behaviour for their own security and the safety of those around them. It is not uncommon for security personnel to provide advice to youths to encourage positive interactions and growth as opposed to criminal actions and incarceration.


Personality researchers have shown that traits such as conscientiousness and openness are positively correlated with personal responsibility. Parents can nurture these traits by encouraging curiosity, providing structured choices, and rewarding responsible behaviour. The story of a young girl from Alice Springs who reportedly initiated a recycling program at her school exemplifies how fostering initiative and responsibility leads to positive community outcomes.


One of the significant challenges in teaching personal responsibility is the pervasive culture of blame and victimhood. Counteracting this requires parents to model accountability and to encourage their children to reflect on their actions rather than immediately looking for external factors to blame. This can be as simple as discussing the day’s events at the dinner table and asking children to consider how their actions affected others and themselves. However, in my own experiences with many juvenile offenders, there is no dinner at home, let alone a table or parents with whom to interact.


The task of teaching children to own their actions is a foundational aspect of parenting that resonates across cultural and geographical boundaries. Parents can equip their children with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of modern life with integrity, resilience, and a deep-seated sense of personal responsibility. However, the greatest cause of long-term trauma in the NT is child neglect and absentee parents. As society grapples with the consequences of diminished personal responsibility, the role of parenting in reversing this trend cannot be overstated. It is through the daily, often mundane, moments of guidance and example that children learn the value of owning their actions, a lesson that will serve them and society well into the future.


Despite the veneer of "political correctness" that cloaks proposals such as securing loving homes for children, the stark truth confronting many in the Northern Territory is the absence of parents to impart these vital lessons. Instead, children often find themselves under the care of relatives or guardians who view them less as charges to be nurtured than as means to access taxpayer-funded benefits, benefits that rarely, if ever, are expended in the interests of the child. The ideal solution would be the presence of better parents; however, reality forces us to settle for whoever is available, often at great cost to the well-being of these children. Consequently, taxpayers unwittingly bankroll child exploitation and neglect, shielded by appeals to "culture" that serve only to deflect from the ruinous outcomes of such negligence. From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.



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