Some of you know, my oldest daughter, Riley, has a pretty successful YouTube channel. Recently, she was asked to star in a series of videos for a different, very popular YouTube channel as a guest host. They needed her to supply them with her minor's entertainment work permit, as well as her Coogan account information in order for her to be paid.
I wasn't exactly sure what the Coogan account was. I remember the child actor from the films of the twenties, and something about him not getting the money he deserved when he came of age... kind of like Gary Coleman of Diff'rent Strokes fame in the eighties.
This was on a Friday and the shoot was on Monday. So, being the "Safety-Net Parent" that I am, I told my sixteen year old to contact the management company and ask about the account as well as asking for a contact number in case we got caught in traffic or something. She can do this. She's a big girl. I've taught her well, and this is her gig, her love, her passion.
So, Friday night she hangs out with friends. Saturday night she spends at a friend's house, then heads to a nearby amusement park the next day. When she finally walks in the door on Sunday evening, I ask what the management company said. She tells me (get this), "I haven't checked my email in two days."
So, Riley looks, and sees that just a few minutes after sending her email on Friday night, they responded. They gave us the contact number, and explained what the Coogan account was, and that she'd need to open one before the shoot...at 9 a.m....the next morning.
There was NO WAY we'd be able to get a Coogan account in time. And, I'm thinking, how is it that my daughter has not learned yet responsibility? She's smart and at times seems to use the gray matter between her ears. I have given her lots of opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them in less "important" situations. So, trying to stay calm, I ask my high school junior why she didn't take responsibility on this situation.
And, after she rambles off some not-so-heartfelt apologies, and some illogical excuses about "people distractions" (translation: "hanging out with friends") I realize that she didn't take responsibility for this situation, because she'd never been in this situation before. She had never been asked to check for a response on an email on a Friday night regarding a bank account before going to an amusement park for a video shoot in three days.
Oh sure, I've given her plenty of other opportunities to learn responsibility in her life, but because she has a teen brain, and not one that has been fully cooked, it appears that she has difficulties transferring her learning from one situation to the next. Therefore, I realize, if she is to make good decisions in her life, I must provide her with every conceivable situation in the universe in order for her to know how to handle each one...individually.
Do I really mean this? No. But, it sure as heck felt like it on Sunday evening. I will keep giving her opportunities to make decisions and if she fails, there's another learning opportunity. And, maybe when her brain is fully cooked, she be able to make the leap from one situation to the next. Until then, we deal with them one at a time, as they come up.
image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/markgraf