So, we have this YouTube channel that we started a couple of months ago. It’s going really well and I really do like doing the videos as a way to share with you. When my daughter Patience came to me with an idea she had to make a promotional video for me I told her to go for it! She could just do whatever she wanted and we would follow her lead. It turned out so sweet and I love her style. I had to show you…..feel free to share it with people who you think might be blessed. And it would bless me so much if you hopped over and subscribed to our channel. Out of curiosity, what do you use YouTube for anyway? I like to watch Tim Hawkins videos and music videos. when I want a break.
This week on YouTube I am answering some follow up questions from another video about kids doing chores. I am sharing how we manage a simple afternoon chore system. We call it, “3:30 Chores.” Every afternoon the younger kids (that’s the kids still in school) do a quick chore and it helps keep the place spiffy and gives them something to be responsible for. Here is an idea of the types of jobs I have on their 3:30 chore lists: Ages 2-5: pick up toys, dust, carry laundry, put silverware in the drawer, put pillows on the bed, wipe the table, folding washrags Ages 6-9: dust, sweep, wash the pet bowl, wash front door, wipe light switches, sweep porch, wipe doorknobs, clean under sofa cushions, windex mirrors, straighten books, fold towels, rake, water plants Ages 10-13: vacuum, fold laundry, cut up vegetables, mop, wash windows, get trash out of car, clean TVs, wash dining chairs, pull weeds, wipe off the fridge, straighten the DVDs, wash sheets Ages 14+: dust ceiling fans, clean leaves from gutters, shake rugs, organize a drawer, straighten a shelf, get Sunday clothes ready, clean trash cans, wash one window, clean cobwebs, sweep under furniture, wash ceiling lights The idea is for these to be small jobs that can be done once a week. Try walking around the house and just writing down everything that needs to be done. Then divide that list into small bits, each taking only about 10 minutes to do. Those would be the 3:30 chores in our house!
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I have tried many different chore systems and all of them have their pros and cons. But there is one thread that runs through any successful effort to get kids to do chores and that’s you constantly checking after them.
They need accountability, they need to have a clear idea of what is expected of them and they need an occasional refresher lesson. They simply aren’t naturally going to succeed.
I use rewards for the younger kids, but by the time they are 12 they don’t get any “prizes” or payments. The satisfaction of a job well done is reward enough. That’s part of maturing….not expecting extra benefits for doing what needs to be done to keep the family running smoothly. The reward systems when they are young are for teaching….not to be a lifelong practice.
To be clear….I still pay the older kids for some things, just not typical household responsibilities. I never pay for kitchen work, cleaning, laundry, etc. But I would pay them to do bigger jobs like work in my etsy shop, paint, yard work beyond basic mowing, cleaning out my car, and other jobs that I might pay someone else to do.
If you’re wondering what chore systems we use, there are two that I like. The first, for younger kids, is I Did It Myself! And for the whole family I love the book Managers of Their Homes by Teri Maxwell. It’s been around for a long time and I have tweaked it to fit my life, but there’s some great info there.
Right now we have 4 adult kids living at home and 1 more graduated that’s just under the wire of official adulthood.
This is a whole new level of parenting. People say toddlers and teenagers are hard….we didn’t have big struggles with those ages. But adults, that is a topic that needs some attention!
Our kids have always had responsibility and had to learn hard lessons. They pay for their own things and work from home (mostly) and earn their own money. They help around the house and are generally pleasant. But there are still some things that we are working to figure out.
1. Where does the authority of the parents end and the “child’s” begin? (I am calling them child for the sake of clarity, but I know they’re not children)
2. How much of their needs should they pay for? Rent? Food? Insurance?
3. Should we let them use our car? Our wifi? Our phone plan?
4. How do we handle discipline? Or do we?
This is just the tip of the iceberg of adult children living at home. If they were someone else just moving in with us we would have set clear boundaries from the beginning, but since we eased into this for the past 18+ years it’s not so cut and dried.
The good news is that we do all believe in the Bible being the Word of God and even though not all of those things are addressed directly, is it clear how to handle disputes and so we manage to keep the peace. That is a victory all by itself! If you are still raising your young children keep that in mind. Teach them now to love the Lord, do hard things and care for other people. It will benefit them now and forever more.
I am sympathetic to my kids’ situation. They are adults living a child’s life. They need to break out and believe me….we want our little birdies to fly from our nest. I am not anxious to be the head of an adult living center.
Even though I am still in the midst of this season and I do not have a full view from the rearview mirror, I have learned a few things that might help anyone headed this direction.
1. If it belongs to me I have authority. My house, my car, my food….I can say how it gets used and if I let you paint the room you are living in your favorite color then I am doing you a favor. And you should be grateful. But if it’s yours…..your purse, your clothes, your car then I should leave you alone about it, even if I have a great idea that would help you undoubtedly achieve great future successes. I close my mouth.
2. They should pay for themselves as much as possible. We haven’t moved to having our kids pay rent, but that is because they are responsible with their money and they voluntarily hold themselves accountable to us about how they use it (accountable, not obedient). But we do require them to pay for their phone (they are on our plan) and they buy their own special foods (so if they like a certain cereal or drink they buy their own, but they eat meals with us). I have thought about charging my son for laundry services. Free if you do it yourself, $2 per load if you convince a sister to do it for you. 😉
3. Easing into adult responsibilities. Our two oldest kids are each saving to buy a car and when that happens it will be 100% their responsibility. For now they use our cars, but there are rules. They have to ask. Every time. They have to tell us where they are going and when they will be home and if that changes they have to let us know. And they have to pay for insurance and whatever gas they use.
4. Discipline is a harder issue. For example, if we request they get up and be dressed by 7:00 in the morning and they don’t do it….what should happen? Basically, we give them adult sized consequences for these things. A week without the use of our car has been a consequence we used in the past. That wasn’t fun. We do give them a lot of privileges that we could take away if necessary. I mean, eating here is a privilege and so is having your own room. If you want that privilege then you have to show respect for our needs as a family and joyfully do what we ask unless we discuss it and all agree to something else.
We expect our adult children to take care of more than just themselves. By age 18 you should carry your own weight and help those around you. That means they have responsibilities for kitchen, cleaning, car maintenance, helping with siblings, working for Mom or Dad in our business, etc. Their whole day can’t be just about them. That is not good for them and it certainly isn’t good for the parents. We can’t carry our adult kids around and we shouldn’t have to. Each adult in the home must be making a large contribution to the cost (financial, physical, emotional, etc.) of living in the home. We expect them to contribute a minimum of 4 hours per day on family needs, but this can include working for us in our businesses. If they have jobs that allow them to contribute financially then that time requirement would change.
But what happens when they just don’t agree? They shouldn’t have to agree with us all of the time of course! And all of our kids disagree with us on various topics. That’s when the relationship becomes so, so important. James and I work hard to spend time with our older kids and listen to them. What’s important to them? How can we support their dreams? How are their friends doing? What are they struggling with right now? How can we help without jumping in and rescuing them?
It is a delicate balance for all of us and one that we can all become more like Christ through the process.
If you only have young children now or are looking at being in this situation soon, hear me when I tell you….keep the lines of communication open. Your adult children still need you. But you have to practice self-control like you never have before. No more swooping in and saving the day. No more endless streams of motherly advice. No more being bossy (come on, it’s not just me). They need to make mistakes….sometimes big ones…..to learn and be able to fly away.
Be strong mamma……we are growing and learning too even though we’re supposed to be the more mature one. It sure ain’t easy.
And when all else fails I can remind my adult kids of what it says in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones.”
It’s Friday and around here that means just one thing…..another YouTube video!
This week’s video is called, “The Humbler Games.”
Y’all will love this one. We did something different and made a little movie. It’s so much fun for us because we all worked together to make it (lots of us behind the scenes even though you don’t see us on camera!). This picture only shows who worked on the day of shooting, but the other kids helped too.
This is meant to encourage those of you who are tired or discouraged. There is always hope! God is ready for you to call on Him when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. It’s The Humbler Games…..
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Guess what! I have started a YouTube channel and I am so excited about it.
Well, as excited as you can be about something you don’t understand how to do without Googling every-single-step while you create it.
I have been feeling badly about not being able to answer all of the parenting questions I get, so this is my solution. It’s SO much easier to talk for a few minutes and I think y’all will like these short tips. Short is the operative word. I won’t take much of your time. (now I feel like a Ginsu knife salesman….but I promise I won’t ask for $19.99).
I will be adding a new video every Friday and sometimes they will be, uh, how shall I put this? Silly. Fun. OK, weird. Your kids will like the weird ones. But normally they will be simple and mostly for Mom. That’s what the two that are already there are…simple mom stuff.
So there you go. I hope you’ll go subscribe and tell your friends to subscribe. I’d like to feel like I’m talking to more than 7 people. But truthfully, if no one ever sees them but my children while they are trying to raise their own kids (which they haven’t had yet but I have high hopes for the future) that’s really fine by me.
Over the weekend my friend Connie asked on Facebook, “How do you feel about other people correcting your kids?” I thought it was interesting, so I asked it on my page too. It started me thinking, why do people get so upset about this?
First I will say that I not only don’t mind, I appreciate it when other people correct my children. It doesn’t happen very often because I am almost always right there and I am quick to correct my kids. But they know that if someone else corrects them they are to show respect and heed the correction. I also really appreciate if a friend tells me if she had to correct my kids (in case I didn’t hear) so I know how to deal with it later.
The most common response on FB was something like, “I don’t mind unless the other person is mean/grumpy/telling my kids not to do something I let them do.” The problem with this thinking is it is arbitrary and impossible for other people to know. Other responses were they get annoyed if someone does it while they are standing right there. But there are times when this is acceptable.
This is about authority, not feelings. There are clear times when someone else has authority to correct your child. If you are in my home, I have authority over some areas, even if you are standing right there. If your child is drinking his grape juice on my carpet, I have the right to tell him to stop and give him direction for where he can drink his juice.
I will generally tell children some of our house rules when they arrive so they know what is expected. I understand that people have different sets of boundaries in their homes of course! But I have actually had a woman tell me, after I just announced which rooms were off limits, “We let Johnny explore. I don’t want him to have boundaries.” I asked her, “Are you planning to follow him around while he’s ‘exploring’? If not, then he needs to stay where I told him.” I have a right to make those kinds of rules in my home and to enforce them. (She later told me that she believes her children should never have to obey anyone but their parents and she has told her children that they don’t have to do what I say. This woman has robbed her children of a God-given life lesson. And you can imagine how unpleasant her children are to be around.)
If we are at the park and I tell my kids where they can go, I don’t have a right to expect other kids to follow that. It’s not my area of authority. If we are in the grocery store and a child is running their cart into things, I have authority to tell them to stop. It is against the general rules of the store. In the movie theater, I have the right to ask the child behind me to stop kicking my seat.
I have been in other people’s homes where their children were jumping on furniture, hanging off balconies and doing things I would never allow my children to do. But I don’t have any authority to correct them, especially if the parents are right there. It definitely makes me uncomfortable, but I stay quiet.
But that is not necessarily discipline. If it’s just something they really didn’t know and not a discipline issue, I like to speak directly to the child. I feel like it shows them respect and helps me build a relationship with them. I see telling them not to drink on the carpet as a teaching situation, not necessarily correcting. It is best if possible, when dealing with a discipline issue, to speak to the mom instead of the child. This is especially if you don’t have a good relationship with their family.
This gets tricky because, as we all know, moms get really defensive about this. Look, I get it. The times I have had someone tell me something about my child or harshly corrected them in front of me I got my back up for a second. It’s a natural, fleshly reaction. But I almost immediately make myself stop and realize that I need to practice self-control and maturity. It’s not an insult or a criticism, and even if it is I can handle that and I want my children to know how to handle that. Their lives will be much better for it.
I have 2 ideas on this….first, I want my kids to learn respect for others over protecting their own feelings. If they are corrected and it hurts their feelings in some way, they will get over it. If they can be respectful and generous to the grumpy person, they have the satisfaction of knowing they are developing a wisdom that is pleasing to God. Second, you can tell someone that you prefer they not correct your child without turning it into an offense. Why do we have to get so upset about it?! It is an opportunity to grow and learn and become better at dealing with problems.
I have, if I have a relationship with them, spoken to a child about a character issue. But I try to do it in kindness and love with the goal of helping, not criticizing. It is not always received that way, but then it’s just another opportunity for me to learn to forgive. We can’t seek a perfect, trouble-free life and ever really grow.
In closing, I want to add that it is never OK to physically discipline someone else’s child. Again, it’s a simple matter of authority. Even if someone told me I could do that, I wouldn’t. There are plenty of ways to teach a child in your care without touching them.
I know this is long and if you are still reading, I really just want to say that my goal in sharing this is that we all become a little less sensitive about letting other people speak into our child’s life. It is good for them to understand that other adults have wisdom and authority over them in some areas. And if it’s a gray area then they should be kind and generous no matter what it makes them feel like.
Thanks for hanging in there with me for this LONG post.
It’s time for some more sibling love.
Sometimes you just want a tip that gives you a physical way to tell when you need to make a correction. I mean, talking about consistency and love is great but…..not always so easy to grab a hold of. This one you can’t miss. Here you go…..
Don’t let your kids touch each other.
It’s that simple. I don’t mean hugging and being silly, of course! I’m talking about when they are criticizing or correcting or arguing. No touching. Not ever.
You might be thinking I’m just talking about hitting, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s pulling someone’s hand away or pushing/nudging them or grabbing something away from them.
If a boy wants his sister to stop leaning into his space, he shouldn’t push her away. He should ask her to move. Then she should move willingly. If she won’t move, instead of pushing her he can follow my tattling plan or he can nicely ask you for help with the problem. But forcibly moving another person is never the solution.
Last week at the dinner table one of my boys, instead of verbally correcting his brother for not leaning over the plate with his food, gently pushed his brother’s hand back over the plate. He wasn’t mean about it, but it still was not OK. So I just reminded him that instead of pushing, he could have just mentioned it to his brother and if it became a problem then he could talk with me about it and together we would figure out some ways he could handle that.
The other person should have the opportunity to decide whether or not they are going to move, stop, give up the toy, whatever. It should not be forced upon them.
If, after reading this, you notice that your kids are doing it, sit them all down and talk about how it’s wrong to force another person to do something. We all want to be respected and treated with kindness.
Then run through some practice sessions. Have one of them invade the other’s space then freeze and talk through their options, having them pretend they’re doing each one. It’s like a game and they can see what it looks like to be respectful and how to properly respond when someone asks you to stop something you are doing. The recipient definitely needs to practice responding with kindness also! And Bible verses are great to reinforce this.
Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Go HERE for 10 more verses great for siblings to learn.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out some of my other posts in my Parenting Gallery!
This post is sponsored by AutoRight.
Y’all know I am all about my kids developing great character, so when my son lost his retainer (yep, wrapped it in a napkin at a restaurant and forgot it) we decided to allow him to work off the replacement cost by giving him a long list of extra jobs to do around here. One of those jobs, poor kid, is detail cleaning all 4 of our cars.
He started with my minivan because, and I don’t want to name names here, mine is by far the cleanest. The rest of the cars get progressively dirtier until he gets to the 15 passenger van which is possibly about an inch from being condemned.
He was given instructions for how to get it really, really clean. None of this kinda-clean-I-hope-no-one-notices-that-one-spot-I-skipped stuff.
But who says detail cleaning has to be boring? I knew just how to make it fun for him. I handed him an AutoRight Detailing Polisher. What boy doesn’t love gadgets and gun-shaped tools?
He washed the car first (using our favorite car wash wand!) then I gave him the polisher, all charged up and ready to go. Since it’s cordless, it’s easy.
It comes with a scrub brush, polishing pad, cotton applicator and microfiber applicator. He went to town scrubbing the bugs off of the front and getting the windows all clear. He knows how much I hate a dirty window.
After cleaning the windows he waxed it using the pad attachment. Whoosh!
He also buffed the dashboard and inside walls with the microfiber cloth attachment. In the end, he had a fun time doing the finishing touches on the car AND it is looking so suh-weet! (well, as sweet as a minivan can get)
He felt pretty cool about it.
If you want to get your car as shiny and clean as mine, enter below to win your own AutoRight Detailing Polisher! But my hard-working son doesn’t come with it, in case you’re wondering.
My husband and I have always felt that most important thing to focus on in raising our kids is building godly character. Integrity, strength of courage and trustworthiness are missing in so many people these days. What is more valuable than teaching our children to be truthful in all things?
All 9 of our children have struggled with lying at one point or another. It is difficult to break once it has become a habit. I want to share with you some of the things we do to help them break the habit.
1. Talk with them about honesty
Not a lecture, but a simple talk. Give them Bible verses about truthfulness and help them understand how important it is to be honest at all cost. Above all, don’t show frustration. Let them know that they are loved and you are confident they can work to regain your trust.
When I say talk, I mean really dig deep. Read some verses about truth and memorize them together. Discuss what they think about the verses.
Ask them what they think about lying and if they have ideas that will help them stop. Listen to their heart, it is your key to understanding their struggle. The clues you get from listening can help you figure out why they feel compelled to lie in the first place. Sometimes it’s just become a habit, but sometimes it’s a deeper issue.
Ask God to show you ways to help your child stop lying. Also, let them know that you pray for them and make sure they see you praying. When you see them struggling, take their hand and pray together.
God has given me the most creative ideas when I ask Him. Once, I was inspired to have one of the boys write down his lies each day. He had a little pad of paper and teeny pen that were just for that. I never looked at it or asked him about it, but it made him aware of how often he was doing it and it really helped him stop. That idea came to me through prayer.
God is ready with His infinite wisdom to help you with your parenting struggles.
4. Pay close attention
Keep them close and spend extra time with your struggling child. They need you to help them through and hold them accountable. Don’t let them be in their room all afternoon without any accountability for what they are doing. Try to find ways to stay close either by working together or by having some down time (games, reading aloud, watching a DVD together, etc.) together.
If you’re busy and can’t do that, then have them stay close by. While you check emails, for example, have them do schoolwork in the same room.
Whatever method of discipline you choose, the key is to be consistent. It’s important that they get caught anytime they are lying. If you suspect a lie, don’t spend too much time pressing for the truth. Trust your instincts and deal with the issue directly.
Occasionally it will happen that you discipline for lying when they were telling the truth. I tell my kids that when that happens, they should remember that there were times they lied and didn’t get caught. This is a good opportunity for them to reflect on the real consequences of lying which is that after a few lies, people won’t believe you even if you’re being honest. I assure them that they can work toward being believed again by telling the truth and earning our trust.
And remember Mom and Dad, this is not a quick fix. It takes time to break a habit and regain trust. Keep working together, be patient and above all let your child know they are loved no matter what!
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight” Proverbs 12:22