Teaching Responsibility

Girl holds little dog in her lap

Unlike your typical treatment center, Trinity Teen Solutions has a unique perspective on the acceptance of change in teenager’s lives. In order for teens to change, they must desire and implement that change in their own lives. How do we empower our girls to implement this change? Of course, there is no simple answer. However, I believe that one way Trinity primarily affects this change in young women is by entrusting responsibilities to them. This article will address the kinds of responsibilities the girls have, how Trinity implement those responsibilities, and the way they affect the girls.

The program at Trinity is very structured. Within this structure, each of the girls have particular responsibilities and goals that they are able to achieve on a daily basis. When the girls first arrive, they are presented with minor responsibilities that they have to complete. These include small assignments, complying with rules, and a personal goal. This allows the young women to build trust with their peers. Also, because these challenges begin small, they are easily attained, as long as there is motivation. When the girls prove that they are dependable in the given tasks, they are given more responsibilities. Usually, this includes chores such as, cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, upkeep of horses, dogs, cats, sheep, and a goat. As the girls progress, they are entrusted with more and more difficult jobs, but always tasks that are achievable.

Ultimately, every task that the girls are presented with depend on their own drive. One of the ways that Trinity encourages this is by giving the girls jobs that are easily attainable, and then working up to harder ones. This step by step plan gives the girls the confidence that they need to carry out what is expected of them. Another way that Trinity supports the girls when they are taking on responsibilities is by having an immediate result of the girl’s choices. For example, if a girl is presented with a chore, she can either choose on her own to do that chore, or there is an immediate consequence if she chooses not to carry it out. If she completes her work throughout the day, she can earn points that allow her to buy privileges. If she refuses to carry out her tasks, then she receives a consequence. Consequences vary, and can be anything from doing jumping jacks or a revoking of a privilege.

How does this step by step plan affect the girls in day to day life? In everyday life, many things are expected of us. When we are younger, these are easy tasks, such as cleaning our bedroom or completing school. As we become adults, though, we take on more responsibilities, such as acquiring a job. In order for us to contribute to family life and our community, we accept responsibilities and are dependable. However, if we never learn how to complete minor tasks, we will be unable to complete major tasks. For this reason, by working with girls in a structured environment and expecting them to take on duties, Trinity Teen Solutions facilitates young women in procuring goals in their own lives. By starting small and building up, our program promotes natural growth, which ultimately leads to the young women choosing a responsible life outside of Trinity.