teen-driverAs if raising three children from infancy to adulthood wasn’t a daunting enough task, I am officially entering the phase of teaching a teenaged boy to drive. (Prayers for safety and sanity are much appreciated!)

That makes this week’s character trait of responsibility extremely timely.

Responsibility is knowing and doing what is expected of me. It’s a moral, legal, or mental accountability for something or to somebody. It’s also a form of trustworthiness (after all, if I don’t trust you to return the car intact, why hand you the keys?).

As the parent, I will be responsible to teach, correct, supervise, and document our drives. I’m also charged with passing the responsibility on to his shoulders. To instill a careful concern for others on the road. Teach the proper care and maintenance of the vehicle so it doesn’t break down in the middle of the road with expensive repairs. Establish communication habits with the other drivers in the family to coordinate our schedules. Decide who is paying for gas and insurance (and for how long!). This transfer should ultimately lead to letting him transport his younger brother to school in the mornings once he’s officially licensed.

However, responsibility extends beyond driving to our jobs, family life, relationships, health, and home. It’s dividing chores between the family members. It’s scheduling tasks to meet deadlines. It’s making time to listen and setting up date nights with my spouse. It’s asking the tough questions to clarify what is expected. It may even involve giving up hobbies or establishing boundaries around my time so that I can fulfill my own responsibilities.

Responsibility is more than knowing. It’s doing.

What about you? What areas are you responsible for? Any tips for teaching a teen driver and installing responsibility?

Character Matters – Responsibility
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