Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaching children responsibility

Remember back when your children were little and they wanted to help? What happened to dampen their enthusiasm. Both see the task in their own world view. Parents wanting to have the child do it right and not to create more of a mess. The child sees it as play or "helping" and may need guidance, acceptance, and encouragement. They may also needs to stop and start up again far more often. The child gets distracted easily and without a lot of encouragement and acceptance of effort they will gradually deminish in the interest in doing any task. Eventually jobs such as this are no longer fun or interesting.

Recently in my class a group of students were talking about things such as what direction the toilet paper should hang on the roll, can you squeeze toothpaste in the middle, and is there a right and wrong way to vacumn a floor. There were some in the group that looked like they could come to blows to defend their belief that their way was right and anything less than that was not only wrong, but it was not helpful as they would need to redo the job to make it "right." Then I brought up the loading of the dishwasher and washing clothes. Those are two that even more had views that there were rules about those areas that had to be followed or else the world as we know it might not go on. Who is the problem, the one who has a different way or the one that can't accept another person's helpfulness?


  1. Chieko Okasaki (?) said it best. "There is more than one practice to get to the principle." or something like that.

    Friends of ours nearly got divorced because he liked to put sugar on his cold cereal before he poured the milk. DUH!!! Anybody with any brains knows you NEVER DO THAT!!! All the sugar will go to the bottom. Well, DOUBLE DUH!!! That is where he wanted it!!

    One of the biggest revelations (ongoing) is that my way is not the right way. It is just ONE of the ways.... and there are many. I entered marriage thinking I was right.

    Now as for the toilet paper. I measured. You don't have to reach as far if you drape it forward rather than behind. :) love, Jane

  2. Isn't my sweet mother in law cute? We just had this conversation in our marriage class through church. I brought it up that I'm just thankful for the help I get. Having the kids help is sometimes feasible and sometimes not (depending on time and my mood... nobody's better off if I'm in a fierce mood). The trick for me is taking the time to teach them to work and knowing my own limitations.