There are days when I want to post a sign “at the beach— back in a week”. Those are the days when the laundry is piled high, the dishes are in the sink and everybody is waiting for mom to ring the dinner bell!
I have finally decided to solicit help. I no longer want to carry the load (literally). I plan to be around a long time, so in order for me to endure I decided that I will rally the troops here at home for help.
This summer I decided to train my youngest child the way I would train an employee to do a job: methodical, with skill, and patience. I must: communicate, delegate, write it down, set goals, give incentives and reward often.
We start first with daily routines (chores) that will carry her through life, college, whether married or single.
Secondly, I want to teach her to be diligent by helping her understand the importance of doing a good job and being consistent.
Thirdly, explaining the importance of doing chores with skill and the right attitude. Why the right attitude? Because the right attitude will take you further than your skill.
Fourthly, being a person of your word. (I no longer want to hear, “I’ll do it tomorrow ma”). Doing what you say you will do and following through is the beginning of having integrity. Integrity is a moral principle that must first be taught at home, which again will help them on the job and carry them through life.
When my youngest was a toddler we used to watch a show about a girl and her doll. The girl pretended that the doll was real and always at the end of the show she would tell her doll that it was time for a 10 minute tidy. She was in fact teaching her viewers the importance of cleaning up after themselves. I used the same method with her and made a game of it. Of course now that she is much older it’s time to get serious about mastering the art of tidiness.
As a parent I constantly have to remind myself that even though we may have worked on a project once we may need to tweak it and sometimes go over it again and again. This of course takes time and patience of which I am acquiring more of as I continue to teach and train.
There are some things that are taught and some things that are caught!
How does one catch? First by being present physically, you’ve got to make time to do the necessary things in order for your children to understand, see and know how things are done.
For example, when I was a child I used watch how my mom took the time preparing the home whenever we had company coming. I came to understand that there were some things that were done of importance in preparation for entertaining her guests.
Although my mother taught me the art of cleaning and cooking, there were other things that I caught by watching. The way things were placed around the house just so; the lace on the tables, the bread on the plate, the changing of curtains, the waxed floors so shiny you could see your face. Little did I realize much later that I would pretty much work the same way my mother did all those years ago.
Point your kids in the right direction-when they are old they won't be lost..Proverbs 22:6
I like this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson,
"Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything."