Whose responsibility is it, after all?

Conni Carr

Learning begins at home. In a culture where fast food and eating out are an everyday happening, who has the most influence on what our kids eat during their early developmental years? In a multimedia culture where many kids learn at an early age to watch TV, utilize computer games, text and talk on a cell phone and play video games instead of spending the majority of their “down time” outside running around, who has the most influence on what our kids do for recreational activity?

I am a parent and a teacher. I take responsibility for what my toddler eats and how she plays. I have the power to influence my child before she ever reaches school age.

Once a student reaches high school at the ripe old age of 14, their mental and intellectual patterns are set. Their eating and fitness habits are set. I can see our athletes working hard at their sports and I can see which kids have outside active lifestyles. My assumption is that this was influenced by their parents’ input over the years. I see what students choose to buy in the cafeteria or at our local eateries. Those making healthier choices probably do so as a result of parental influence over time.

High school students want “responsibility” and “the right to make their own decisions”. So, in addition to their parents, shouldn’t they shoulder some of the burden of responsibility for their own health and fitness choices?

As a teacher, I can only try to be a good influence on my students. I can only attempt to provide information and guidance to help them make informed decisions. From there, they are on their own. You reap what you sow, ya know!

What do you think?