Children learn by example. What they see you do on a daily basis is what they will do in life as well. Therefore, in order to promote responsibility in youth, all adults need to develop the discipline of self-reflection.
Self-reflection focuses on looking inward—how to control passions, redirect impulses, restrain oneself from temptation, monitor one’s ego, assess the balance between the amount of time devoted to entertainment and time devoted to learning, and such things as what the individual needs to do in order to develop good character traits and become a good, contributing member of society. Many of the early Americans—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and of course Benjamin Franklin, to name but few—focused on what they could and would do to become better people.
Striving to improve oneself has long-been an American characteristic. As a youngster, my New Year’s resolutions were always aimed at self-improvement. As an adult, I try to engage in self-reflection regularly.
If you want today’s youth to act responsibly, if you want to reduce discipline challenges with children, and if you want to improve your life, self-reflection is the key. Make it a goal to set time aside for it daily.