It is often asked how to be responsible, and the answer is that you can be. Whether it is for your own actions or the actions of others, being responsible is not something we are born with. It must be learned and must come from an inner knowing and awareness of what is proper and improper. There are times when we make choices that do not align with our values and intentions and yet it is those same behaviors that bring about our self-esteem in the first place. We must learn to say no at times when we simply cannot see a different way to approach a situation. When we know that saying yes would only bring about grief in our lives, we become responsible to say no.
Being responsible also means that you set a standard of behavior for yourself and your family; you establish your standards by example and by setting a good example for your children. We are truly made up of an innate sense of fairness and self-regard so when we are overindulgent or negligent in either of those areas we undermine our self-respect and our overall self-esteem. If we have high regard for ourselves, respect for others, and a high level of self-respect, it means we have high self-esteem. Children feel secure and valued when they know that the parents have a great degree of self-esteem and they too have high regard for themselves. As a result of this, they learn to set similar standards for themselves.
How to be responsible means that you avoid over-indulgence, that you set high standards of behavior, and that you expect the same of others. To be truly responsible means that you are able to refrain from excessive over-indulgence as well as poor behavior. Those who cannot refrain from over-indulgence generally will not have children because children need structure. It is much more difficult to over-indulge when you are a young child than an adult. The child’s behavior is still developing and he or she may be overwhelmed by the new and different tastes experienced. In order to have healthy self-esteem, the child must experience and enjoy his or her relationships with those whom he or she admires most.