Monday, April 28, 2008

Accountability and teenagers

It was suggested that I make my blogs a little more geared toward my life. So I would like to blog this evening about accountability.

Accountability is a concept in ethics with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as answerability, enforcement, responsibility, blameworthiness, liability and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving.

In teen roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions, and policies including the implementation within the scope of the student's role and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.

Three weeks ago, my daughter's third quarter Honors Spanish III grade was a B. Pretty honorable. However, I noticed that even though she was pulling a B, I saw her trend starting. She would have had an A, except for her couple of F's for quizzes, test, and a paper.

I gave her full and fair warning that by mid term, May 1st, 2008, I would recheck the grades. I set the expectation, and consequence. I asked for understanding. She acknowledged the standards I have set.

Today, I asked her to pull the grades, and write them down. I told her, to be 100% honest. I came home, nothing under a C+. But, she is a teenager, with trends. Humans don't overcome trends. SO I pulled up the grades. Guess what? She went from a B to an F in 28 days, and then lied to me about it.

Being accountable doesn't stop there. I now own another cell phone, a PSP, an awesome IPOD, a PC, and her bedroom except for sleeping.

Being a parent is not just lip service. It's continuous action and reaction. She is a teen, and you know, not a bad kid. But life will jump up on her before she knows it. Lying, slacking off on responsibilities just doesn't fly with me.

I don't claim divinity as a parent. We set the standards together, and she chose to test me. How can I expect her to pass a test if I fail hers?

In closing this blog is not just about holding her accountable, but about her holding me accountable as well as a parent. Kids want us to watch them, to push them to raise the bar. I could have been happy with her honors classes. But I push her hard to go above and beyond. Why? LIFE PUSHES HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Parents all over fail miserably when it comes to their own accountability. Why did I get this far to fail her?

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