Where does my responsibility end and my child’s begin?

Posted by Samantha on August 3, 2011 in Consequences, Mistakes, Responsibility |

I deleted this sentence from my blog yesterday about allowing children to experience the consequences of their actions:

We’ve become confused about where my responsibility ends and yours begins; where individual responsibility ends and societal responsibility begins; where a child’s responsibility ends and parental responsibility begins. But that’s another blog.

Then today I read this story on the BBC website about a young woman living with the serious consequences of her decision to dive into a swimming pool at a late night party.  She has been left paralysed from the chest down.  You can read about it here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-14387945

I really feel for this young woman and her parents.  This is truly a tragic story.  And I use the word “tragic” in it’s proper sense.  In true tragedy the consequences suffered by the hero, or in this case heroine, are always the result of their own actions.

I feel sad and yet grateful that the judge in this case has found this young woman responsible for her own actions.  Thank goodness that she was not confused about where her responsibility ended and her friend’s, or her friend’s parents, began.  We as a society, and our children, do not benefit by pretending that others are responsible for the consequences of our actions.  Or that accidents must never happen.  Or that if they do then someone has been negligent.

I can only wish that Kylie Grimes and her family lean into their pain and learn from it, tremendous though the temptation will be to blame others for their suffering.

I know the pain of having to do that.

My thoughts are with them.

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