For each will have to bear his own load. (Galatians 6:5 ESV)
The parent fairies will do it
Teaching our kids to responsibly do their share of jobs around the home is one of our big struggles at the moment. They still think the world exists for them and don’t comprehend that work doesn’t do itself (or maybe they are smart enough to know the ‘parent fairies’ will always do it if left long enough).
In my attempts to ‘encourage’ them do a bit more to help I commonly end up quite grouchy at them and probably achieve little other than making everyone upset. The stupid one is clearly me because despite the technique clearly being ineffective, I still use it as my default parenting mode.
Raised voices don’t work
For children to take responsibility for their share of household chores and learn a ‘good work ethic’ is an internal process deep within their hearts. I’m sure there are developmental stages they must pass through before the concept of helping others will stick, and there are certainly spiritual issues such as sin and selfishness.
Because the change must occur within the heart of a child, my power to influence the process from outside is limited, more so if shouting or frustration characterize my approach. My best tool is to pray for my kids. To ask God to work in their hearts and in my heart so we can all work together rather than against each other. I need all the prayer I can get!
Download the prayer prompts:
Image of girl carrying sticks: iStockphoto