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If you are like me, you want your kids to show responsibility for their homework, chores, being home by curfew, and more. But let’s be real- that doesn’t always happen. Even with myself, I often do not want to take accountability for my actions!
There are two people who exemplify taking responsibility for one’s actions better than anyone that I’ve ever seen: former Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The leadership and accountability resources they have put together are remarkable, and I’d like to share them with you!
**Note: these guys are PRET-TY intense because hello, they are Navy Seals! I do advise that these things are generally not for young children (except for a great children’s book and podcast I will list below) and there can be pretty graphic descriptions of war.**
That said, what they teach is incredibly valuable in my eyes. Jocko tends to be the face you see in the media more, and Leif does more behind-the-scenes work. (Incidentally, if you are a fan of SmartHerNews like I am, Jenna- the founder of the network- is married to Leif.)
Resources That teach Responsibility to teens and adults:
I first heard of the concept of “extreme ownership” when a leadership book by the same name appeared on the market. Written by Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, the book took the leadership world by storm, rapidly climbing to become a #1 New York Times bestseller.
Extreme Ownership shares that war is a brutal teacher- but a very effective one. It shares experiences of when things went terribly wrong- and the value that comes when leaders decide to be accountable. We are listening to this as a family on our Audible account. (You can get this or any book for free when you sign up for a free 30-day Audible trial here.)
Jocko gave a Ted talk of the same name as the book, so you can get a brief preview of what the book is about. (And if you like Chuck Norris jokes, take a look at the comment section. Jocko seems to be the new Chuck Norris. The comment section is hilarious!) :
The whole world was aghast at the consequences of the manner of withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan. There was a ton of finger-pointing at various combinations of Presidents Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden. The Afghan army was blamed for not making a better showing, and the Afghan president was blamed for leaving his country with many valuables. In this clip, Jocko shows what his response would be if he were president and accepted extreme ownership. This is a really great, quick clip to show teenagers that will prompt great discussions about what it means to be responsible.
Resources that teach Responsibility to kids:
This book series is written in the style of Diary of a Wimpy Kid–but it’s waaay better! Marc is being bullied, is afraid of water, and a host of other things. When his uncle Jake (a Navy Seal) comes to stay with Marc for the summer, Marc learns to take ownership of his life and develops the discipline to do hard things. My 10 year old loved it! He rated it a 9.5…it wasn’t a 10 because he doesn’t typically like books written in Wimpy Kid style. But he still loved it.
This is a podcast for kids, based on the book series. The cool thing is that kids can watch it for free on Youtube (or listen on any podcast app), and can also send in questions to “Uncle Jake” and they will be answered on the podcast. Jocko does a great job at helping kids to find answers to their problems, all while teaching accountability. Super cool! Here’s a quick look at episode #1.