Teaching “responsibility” to young people is not easy. Most mentors and teachers employ a two-step process.
First, the basic principles must be defined and discussed. What constitutes responsible decision making? Where have you seen an individual acting in a responsible manner? What public figures have demonstrated a lack of responsibility in their conduct? Asking these questions and discussing the findings is a good way to define responsibility.
Defining “responsibility” is important but it would be impossible to tell young people how to be responsible in every instance they might encounter. It is equally important to equip the individual with the instinct to manage new choices in a responsible manner. Thus, we have the second step in the process.
The second step is engagement. Once the basics have been established, it is important to engage the person who is being taught. Our workbooks have been designed to do just that. Yes, the workbooks do comment on aspects of “responsibility.” But next to each comment is a blank page. The workbook user is then challenged to come up with his, or her, own “responsibility word” and write about it on the blank page. The cognitive process of creating that responsibility word engages the user and increases the likelihood that the lesson will be retained.
Simply put, we strive to start a conversation which will lead to reflection. Our workbooks allow the user to reflect on various aspects of responsibility in a benign, non-intimidating, environment. By doing this the user gets to practice making responsible choices. With enough practice, this will become habit. Over time habit will become ingrained and will shape real life decision making.