Don't Just Sit There, DO Something!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
In Ephesians 6, Paul wrote, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord..." It's a good verse.
It's one of the first memory verses that we teach our children!
But I'm not sure it was primarily written for kids.
You see, I don't think kids will naturally obey, just because they're told to. Certainly not little ones! Some children may have a more compliant personality, and older children, if they know Christ, may obey.
But on the whole, kids aren't going to obey unless we make them.
And we make them through two main methods: positive reinforcement and consequences when they don't.
It's not rocket science. But sometimes it can be hard to think of both positive things and negative consequences.
So today, I want to look at Chapter 7 of To Love, Honor and Vacuum by joining Lori at Heart of the Matter Online for her online book club!
Here's what she had to say about starting to enforce consequences, referring to using a black bag to confiscate the stuff her kids left lying around:
This is likely not going to be a walk in the park on a lovely spring day.
The day that I filled the black bag was not one of the our best. My kids tried all of the countermoves that Sheila says to expect.
I stuck to my guns. The contents of the bag remains sitting in my closet is getting smaller as they prove that taking care of their things is important. Change takes time! I gave a lot of thought to this consequence. In no way did I want to single anyone out or withold love or acceptance. What I did, I did out of love, and they know that…now.
Sheila offers other ideas for consequences in this chapter and some of them are brilliant! The “jubilee” basket which is taken from the Old Testament. In the Old Testament the land was returned to the original owner after a period of time. (page 133) Just after that suggestion, Sheila mentions how there have been times where they have had to call in the garbage bags! I LOVE this woman!
Another idea that I found useful and one that we have begun to use in my home is the idea, “If you Made the Dinner, You Don’t Clean Up.” She recommends that when children are old enough, they load the dishwasher and clear the table. Let everyone know that if they help prepare the meal then that evening they are off of clean up duty. It encourages help and it encourages responsibility as well as teach them practical life skills. As they get older, have them engage in helping plan meals, which will eventually lead to them preparing a meal.
Sing it Aretha…Sing it girl!
These applications all really boil down to respect. Families needs are different and there is no formula for that will work for every family. We need to communicate with each other, expressing our frustrations and desires. Busy lives are no excuse NOT to have these conversations. Respect and responsibility are all part of the package. Sheila offers many more practical solutions to issues with regard to respect and consequences. While each family will have to evaluate their own needs, it’s critical that the rules are understood and the consequences consistent.As we close the chapter, Sheila suggests meditating on Galatians 6:2 and Galatians 6:5.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (6:2)
for each one should carry his own load.(6:5)”
Carrying their own load…it’s what we are raising them to do, so that when the time comes, they are able to go out into the world, use the God given gifts they have been lovingly graced with. We pray they can use these gifts to influence future generations. It simply begins at home, with respect that will become WHO they become.
She has lots more here. I hope you read it, because she does a great job of summarizing this chapter!
But here's what I want to focus on: We can't expect people to change unless we also change. That's where the "DO Something" comes in. And so if you feel taken for granted at home, you have to DO SOMETHING!
And that something means changing how you act towards your husband and kids if you feel like they're not respecting you!
A lot of this chapter has to do with positive reinforcement, like how to handle allowances. And I love allowances. So do my kids! And believe me, they do their chores! Maybe I'll make a separate blog post about that sometime.
But we also have to do something when kids don't do their chores, or when they don't treat us well. Moping or lecturing them about how disrespectful they're being isn't going to cut it.
If you've run out of ideas, and you feel like you nag and yell too much, To Love, Honor and Vacuum can help you get off that nagging wagon! Nagging, after all, doesn't work anyway! I have creative ways for you to help get your family on track--and your own attitude, too!
Buy To Love, Honor and Vacuum today for my book club price of $11 + S&H, and I'll throw in all the charts and checklists and plans, including allowance plans, that are included in the book. And even some that are extra!
I really believe that this book can change your home. It can make it a more peaceful place, and it can help give you the tools to raise the next generation that respects each other, loves God, and knows how to treat their future spouse.
Now, can you help us? What consequences do you have in your home that work well? What do you find frustrating? Leave you questions, too, and maybe we can help!
Labels: chores, homemaking, housework, nesting, To Love Honor and Vacuum
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posted @ 8:00 AM