Last week I shared on Facebook about my boys having trouble doing their chores. Two of my guys just weren’t doing them they way I had told them to, so after a couple of weeks of not getting on top of it I decided to take steps to make some changes.
I sat them down and told them that there would be no playing or entertainment for 3 days. During that time they would do extra chores and if there wasn’t work for them they would read (a book I gave them, not just superhero stuff). We were diligent about it and for one of the boys it worked. He’s been doing great with his chores and is back to normal. Easy.
But for the other one, not so much. He has something, way down inside, that just doesn’t want to budge. He was doing what I told him, but his heart wasn’t in it.
So we will have to dig a little deeper with him. It’s all good, just part of parenting. I have remained calm and cheerful and loving through it all. I want that to be the message here….it’s a GOOD thing. Just because it’s hard or maybe even feels impossible doesn’t mean it’s bad or that you aren’t doing a good job. You can do this! Hang in there and be glad for the opportunity to help your child overcome a problem.
In this case, it’s obviously not just a bad habit, but he’s holding back. I can’t make him want to do what he’s supposed to; only God can do that. But I can do things that will point him in that direction. So I have to get creative and think of ways to draw out his heart and help him desire to do what he is supposed to do.
Here’s the plan for what to do next: In addition to all of his chores he will do all of mine with me. Laundry, making beds, cleaning bathrooms, whatever. If I’m working-he’s working. That way he is with me and we can talk and build our relationship. It’s an opportunity to teach him how to do the work plus it keeps him from entertaining himself too much.
I will add Bible verses to each day. I am using the “Jesus Calling” devotional, so I will just use those verses (no reason to make more work for myself!). We’ll read them together, he will recite it to me then he will write it in whatever artistic way he wants and we’ll hang it on the fridge. In other words, not just scribbling it on a piece of paper, but working to make it lovely. All day long I’ll ask him what the verse is and we’ll talk about how God can use those Words in our lives.
The last thing I plan to do is get him good and tired. Kids today sit around and don’t use their energy, they get bored and that gives room for sin. I will have him do some laps in the yard, maybe toss a ball. If I can think of reasons for him to be running that’s better, but if I can’t then it’s just generally running around. I’ll make some kind of game out of it. Being tired is good for you. Especially a little boy.
I made this plan by thinking about what the core of the problem is
1. He’s being selfish
2. He’s looking for entertainment too much
3. He doesn’t want to work
Then I thought about how to redirect him
1. Selfishness needs God’s Word
2. Seeking entertainment needs to have no entertainment at all for a while (as in no movies, no computer games, etc.)
3. Not wanting to work needs MORE work than normal PLUS being tired so you can see how nice it feels to use your body every day.
And through it all he needs to see that no matter how bad it gets I still love him and am glad to be around him. That never changes. He is always my delight. That’s what God gives to me, so I want to model that for my children.
The thing to remember moms, is it’s not about having perfectly behaved children or a well-run home. It’s about joyfully using the issues that arise to direct the path of your children and train them in the way they should go.
Come hang out with me on Facebook for updates on how it’s going.