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Holiday Musings
Sorry posting has been light! We're still in Maui enjoying a vacation, although I didn't do so well today. We were taking a 50 mile long, winding road to Hana drive, with waterfalls, bamboo forests, and lots of natural wonders. But because of the windy part of it, I took a Gravol so I wouldn't get carsick. And it worked! Unfortunately, it knocked me out so I slept straight for three hours and didn't see a thing after our first stop at the waterfall. Pretty pathetic.

Anyway, one of the fun things that we enjoy when we're away is watching television, since we don't have one at home. We go crazy and watch it nonstop (when we're not in the ocean), concentrating on What Not to Wear and Clean House or Clean Sweep. We just love these makeover shows, whether it's making over a person or making over a house. My daughters and I are glued to the television and enjoying every minute of it!

Clean House, though, has really opened my eyes to how a lot of families live. For those of you who haven't seen the show, basically you go into a house where the people live in piles of clutter. It's disgusting, and it really impacts the family life.

I want to talk clutter later this week, but one theme that seems to keep coming up in some of the episodes we watch, and that's women feeling as if they're hopeless about getting their children to do chores. "They never clean up! They see me cleaning, but they never help, and finally I give up because it's not worth the hassle and arguments they give me!"

Where did women ever get the idea that they were this hopeless? They are the MOTHERS. They can make their children clean up. But somehow we have this idea that we no longer have authority over our children. So instead of giving them orders and instruction, we ask them. And then they say no and whine and complain. Why give children choices when it comes to cleaning? That's ridiculous! They're part of the family, and children need to learn to contribute.

We've always tied chores with allowance, and the children, from the time they were 3, had specific chores they had to do. At this point they can now clean the whole house, though they may not do as good a job as I do. But they know how.

If you're struggling with your children, much of it may be your attitude. Don't doubt yourself. You are the mother. God gave you the role of authority over your children. Authority is a bad word these days, but it shouldn't be. Children should obey. It teaches them limits, and it teaches them responsibility and necessary skills. You are doing your children a favour when you make them obey.

So pair chores with consequences. If they don't do chores, they don't use the computer, or the television, or the phone. Their iPod is confiscated. They can't go to that birthday party. They don't get taken out for ice cream this week. They don't get their allowance. You don't have to yell and fight and get in a tizzy about it. You can just tell them calmly what is expected, and what the consequence is for non-compliance. And then follow through. You should not be cleaning the whole house yourself, if your children are over 3. And you should never feel hopeless and helpless when it comes to your kids.

You do have authority! So buck up! God can help you exercise it appropriately. And life is so much better for everyone when you do!

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 12:56 AM , Blogger Joanne@ Blessed... said…

My first stop by. Love your blog by the way. How refreshing it is to hear a mom proclaim authority as a good word.

We have four children of our own and they have their chores and can clean our house as well. Our oldest daughter just got her first lesson in how to change the oil in her car and rotate tires. She's seventeen.

There is an article I am going to be sending off about teenagers that reminded me so much of what you say here.

Love your voice!


p.s. we don't have a TV in our home either. When my husband and I went to a bed and breakfast recently, we spent LOTS of time in the bedroom...watching TV!


At 8:52 AM , Blogger Fruitful Vine2 said…

I totally can identify with the TV thing. We don't have TV at home either so when we do get to watch we totally are glued either by my sister in law or my mother in law and I love those house makeover shows.

On the other topic you are so right. WE are the mothers not the other way around. My boys are 5 and 6 and trust me they are boys in every sense of the word but they have their chore chart up on the fridge and every day they have a list of things to do. Currently they are the ones who sweep the steps, swish and swipe the own bathroom(I do the swiping of the toilet seat),water plants, clean the doors(up to their height), mop their bathroom, clean the dining table after meals and the legs and chairs once a week and more. There are some things that I don't have to do anymore like fold their pants, underwears, towels, pillowcases after laundry and all the above. I love that I can be freed up to do other stuff.

I guess it has to do with the discipline it takes to help our children get into the habit at first that causes some moms to give up but the benefits are so worth it.

Wow! This comment was really long. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!


At 9:22 PM , Blogger Julie Simmons said…

YES!! thank you! i SO needed that! and it is SO very true!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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