Encouraging Eager Hands
A 7 Part Mini-Course
Publish by: Teaching Good Things
Jeff and Kathy Brodock
Work is Not Punishment
Though we can use extra chores as a consequence, we should be careful not to regularly treat work as a punishment. There are times at our home when attitudes are 'stinky', and one of my favorite consequences is for the offender to go turn the 'stinky' compost pile, or some other task that usually gets overlooked, such as wiping baseboards down. This way they are suffering a consequence and being productive at the same time, but overall work should not be viewed as punishment. If a job is not done up to par, according to what a child is capable of doing, then the consequence is to do it over…maybe a couple of times. This teaches attentiveness to details.
The job needs to be done efficiently and with a good attitude. Sometimes it is a difficult balance between giving grace and expecting their best. Rather than piling on a ton of extra work for a punishment, sometimes it is better to just use the rod of correction when there is a bad attitude involved. Then work can be more of a productive event than a punishment. Here again, this takes a lot of discernment and we need to seek God for wisdom.
Remember our goal as parents is not to just get the job done, but to train our children how to work and WANT to work. If the chores are done, but we have a houseful of bitter and lazy children at heart, then we have not trained them to work from God’s perspective. For us parents, this is not a one time training session. It usually takes about 16-18 years! Here again, THIS is OUR JOB, to train our children up in the way they should go. Remember that WE have to keep OUR attitudes, and OUR purpose in check!
Work is Productive
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Children need to know they are accomplishing a goal. No one wants to work and feel like nothing important was done in the end. Life is usually made up those little tasks that no one knows about, that seem meaningless, but without these little tasks being done, the larger task could not be accomplished.
As children grow, be sure they know how to do all of the chores in the home. Boys need to know how to maintain a home, just as girls need to know how to get the yard work done and put oil in the car. Those boys will grow up and may be out on their own before God gives them a wife and they will need to know how to do laundry and cook. They will also be able to be a blessing to their wife if she is not able to do her duties in times of sickness and such.
Girls need to know how to do basic home repairs and car maintenance. A woman may have an emergency and have to handle a situation until help comes. There may be financial times when she could be a real blessing to her husband and her family to be able to do her own repairs.
Children need praise, they need to know they are accomplishing something, they want to please you. They need to know they are part of a bigger picture. It is not just about having a clean floor; it is about working as a team, working to please the Lord with their lives and possessions. Praise is important, but be careful not to over emphasize undue praise because then real praise will be meaningless.
Always point to Christ. There will be times when you will overlook the reward of praise, children need to know that they can do a job to the best of their ability and know that God sees and knows every little thing, even if no one else does. Teach them to seek to please God, not so much man. As adults, they should be faithful, even without praise of others.
Do not give them a task that is too burdensome for them. Sometimes it is hard to tell how much is expecting too much or not expecting enough. Seek God’s wisdom for that. Different children have different abilities at different ages.
Do not compare a child with other children. You know what your child is capable of doing, just as you can tell if their attitude is a willing one. As parents we sometimes feel like we are just spinning our wheels, saying the same thing over and over, day in, day out, but we need to remember our purpose, our goal. Parenting is some of the hardest work a person could ever do. Be diligent! Pray for wisdom and grace!!! Most of all, remember how often God has to tell us the same thing repeatedly!
Next time we will discuss How to Nurture God Given Talents
Jeff and Kathy Brodock