Communicate, don’t lash out!
January 19, 2021
Be careful what you ask for… WONDER WOMAN 1984
January 19, 2021

The two sides of responsibility

Richard complained that Sherry was spending time and money doing her nails, working late and, when at home, her time was spent posting on Instagram.

Richard was never home as he too worked late and was often grumpy, and when he’s home, most of his time was spent looking at Netflix. They constantly argued and blamed each other for not being responsible.

Over the past two weeks we started exploring the eight foundational virtues of Catholic sexuality—love, responsibility, faith, respect, intimacy, cooperation, joy, and personhood —using the book, Beyond the Birds and the Bees to help parents to engage the conversation of love, sex, and sexuality.

Last Sunday (CN January 17), we explored parents using self-donative love, which is using our  minds, bodies, and souls for the good of the other, being mindful of our God-given dignity. Today we continue with responsibility.

According to Beyond the Birds and the Bees, “Responsibility is the virtue that helps us to decide how best to respond to our circumstances.”

The practice of self-mastery, treating people with dignity and being trustworthy, allowing others to be vulnerable around us is all part of responsible sexuality. The ability to delay gratification and be responsive to the needs of others in the family even if you do not feel like doing it are vital in being responsible.

Simple ways this can be achieved in the home are being patient (breathing, relaxed muscles) with a child who is having difficulty with online learning, asking for help instead of complaining that no-one is helping with chores, or putting down your phone while in the company of others.

Responsibility has two sides: self-discipline and stewardship.

Self-discipline helps to increase the amount of responsibility a parent shows in the home. While it’s easy to complain when things don’t turn out as planned, you may experience progress if you set goals and work towards them.

Using discipline techniques that encourage children to monitor their behaviour as opposed to a parent’s constant hovering and ‘policing’ can be more effective as this teaches the child to be responsible.

Many times, parents find it difficult to discern when to express and control negative emotions within themselves and in the home.

The Common Sense Parenting (CSP) programme, which is a relationship-building tool, empowers parents with the tools to  effectively discipline their children. Contact the AFLC for more information on CSP, which is a collaborative effort with the Franciscan Institute for Personal & Family Development.

The other half of responsibility is stewardship, which is expressed through service. Look for ways to make life easier for your family. This can be done by encouraging children to take care of their rooms or doing their homework, as these are things within their control. Whilst that is being done, it is important to ensure that you are also taking care of the things in your control—your finances, car, and house.

One way of practising stewardship is keeping things clean and maintained so that others can use them, for example, children packing away and taking care of their toys.

Keeping the home clean is a part of proper hygiene. However, if there is a constant reminder to children not to sit or play in an area other than for safety purposes, children can learn that things are more valuable than people. This affects intimacy. If you think that your spouse values things more than he/she values you, it can affect your sexual relationship.


Visit and our social media platforms – @familylifecommission or WhatsApp 299-1047 as we seek to educate parents about healthy and age-appropriate sex and sexuality conversations with their children.