"A man's heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Keeping Children Motivated

*Disclaimer: I am writing the GOALS we have as a family to work together in providing a haven, working side by side with joy and serving the Lord by serving our Family. I pray one day, everyday runs smoothly and perfect...but I am sure that is a prayer I will have until I see Jesus! It is a process.

"Everyone is attracted to joy. Children will do anything for the one who enjoys them. A joyless parent can no more raise good kids than a skunk can raise skunklets that smell good. Training without joy is tyranny. Joy/Cheerfulness is the byproduct of thankfulness and love." A few little lines taken from No Greater... Joy's Debi Pearl.

I have learned that the good attitude I would like to see in my children begins with me. I have to challenge myself each morning not to get frustrated and to deal with each child with love and respect even when they don't deserve it. That is what my Heavenly Father does for me after all.

I try to make our days fun even chore time with music or make it a game...sometimes it is just keeping a smile on my face that makes all the difference.
Our mornings start early so I try to purpose to wake up before them, have time with the Lord , HAVE MY COFFEE and have a heart ready to train my children.
The kids and I are reading a book together called Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally. Wonderful book! I love to see my children becoming best friends, not because of the book...this was just a chance for them to see what another family looks like in the "process" of friendship. I keep my eyes and ears open, waiting for the opportunity to correct treatment of their siblings, but more so to find opportunity to praise for their acts of service toward one another.
We call this our "Friendship Wall."
I would love for my children to be very best friends and for our family as a whole to experience the greatest friendships within our walls.
As for chore time...I included on their chore chart the verse, Ecc. 4:9-12 "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work." Some of my children are a bit more diligent and get their morning chores done very quickly and even better, they are usually done very well. When they are finished, if they have not done so already, I tell them it would be nice if they would help one of the others finish up their chores. This serves two purposes...one, for them to learn to go above and beyond what is expected and that there is no limitation to a servant's heart and two, it is a great example to the children being served and helped. I also try to remind them that while we are at home, daddy is working very hard in order to provide all the things we need and many of the wants we have. When we are serving daddy and others, we are serving Jesus also.I have our master chore chart hanging in our kitchen, but I try to eliminate the question's and having to go back and forth checking on if they remembered to do everything to accomplish that specific chore by posting lists. I don't want to have the appearance of a Tyrant ;) so I buffer this by putting these lists in pretty frames! Clever, I know...I'm sure it made a HUGE difference. (Probably wishful thinking, but at least it looks better than paper lists hanging everywhere.)
We do the bulk of our chores before we eat breakfast. This is why on their chore chart I included, 2 Thess. 3:10-112 "If you labor not, you shall not eat." Sounds harsh, but it is biblical. Throughout life we must do things that are not fun, mundane and that we just don't want to do, but there is no blessing in not doing it nor in having a bad attitude doing it. This is the perfect time to begin that training. We work together, then we eat together. There have been a few mornings where I questioned this decision because a child did not complete their chores, but it has never happened more than once for each child.
CONSISTENCY...we do our chores every day.

Finally, if you have not read the book, Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, I would highly recommend it.

We do not pay our children for doing their chores nor do we reward them for doing them. We saw a trend in our home of money becoming an idol and WE were the ones training them to bow to those idols.
Instead we strive to train them to participate in creating a clean, peaceful environment where we can all serve the Lord, eat, school, entertain guests and do all the fun activities we enjoy. We don't want to rob them of seeing this blessing by dangling money in front of them.
Many times Phil has "blessed" a child for doing more than required on a regular basis or for just having an excellent attitude.
I try to always keep in mind that this is a process. Training my children to be hard workers, diligent, thorough, and servants to others is a long journey. I try to be the example of serving Jesus, Phil, them and others with joy. Remembering that just as I don't always see the blessing in the chaos of training, they most times don't see it. Even still we will do these things with joy and when there are those rewards and unexpected blessings we praise God for them!


Debbie said...

I like the idea of keeping a list in each room so that you are not constantly reminding each child what is to be done. On each list that you keep in each room, do you write out exactly what needs to be done? Also, do you keep a list of names beside each chore? My children are also about the same ages as your children and we used to get up and I would supervise them while they all did the morning chores (which was a thorough clean of the whole house with a general clean in the evenings before bed). Now, I get up at 5:30 and read my Bible for an hour, eat breakfast, exercise, and shower. Then I get the kids up between 7 and 7:30 and I got tired of constantly being there and supervising what needed to be done and have chosen instead to focus my attention on the youngest children (16 months and 3 years) while allowing the older ones more freedom to follow the routine. I am finding myself frustrated through it all that they are not farther along then I think they should be. I am also not quite sure what to do with my oldest son (9) who stays awake in bed reading with his book light until 10 or 11 because he can not fall asleep and then does not want to get up out of bed in the morning at 7. I have wondered if I should get him up at 6 before everyone else so that he, too, can do his personal Bible reading and chores. What has helped you most in these areas? Thank you for sharing this post with us. I love reading your blog.

Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

Wonderful post Rossie! I like the friendship wall idea!!! Yes, there is something sweet about seeing your children become best friends!!! I love that book!

Also, I am so thankful for your chore chart idea! You know we have been through sooo many! And the one you are using is the best we have had! I hope it remains that way!


love love love LISTS! Wish I could actually follow through on mine. I have several that I'd like to frame and put on the wall, in particular one I just found at Vintage Homemaking...but I promised myself no more crafting til the house is organized anbd clean (translate: never). :) When do I get to know what this little pea pod is going to be????!!!

Shannon said...

Hmmm... that framing the lists thing really is a brilliant idea!!! One of the reasons I do not have lists in every room is that I can not stand the thought of tacky little lists everywhere. Problem solved!!!

It is a beautiful thing to see that others desire for their children to be best friends. That is my desire and my kids love each other in a way that is different from many of the families today. I think it is almost expected these days that siblings are not supposed to like each other. I remind my children when they are arguing that they prayed and ask God to send them siblings and God sent them to one another. They have their not so great moments, but ultimately they are each others best friends. I am very intentional in instilling that in them, too.

R. Hansen said...

So inspiring. I love the friendship wall. We try to stress that brothers and sisters should be best friends that help each other choose the right. Thank you for your post.

Anonymous said...

was doing a google search and you came up... noticed you posted about Shepherding.. love it! Ted Tripp is coming to Santa Maria CA, near Santa Barbara in March to do a wonderful Parenting Conference! here is a link for info and spread the word!


Anonymous said...

Would you care to post what your kid's daily routine is that you have in the frame? Also, what are the bathroom duties that are daily and weekly? You are a genious to think of the idea to put the list into a pretty frame! Love this idea! Love your blog! ~DIANA

Anonymous said...

Web design
very hanyd, thanx a lot for this blog ..... This was what I was looking for.