Thursday, August 11, 2016

Raising Hard Working Kids In An Entiled World

"Do good work" Wall Badge

When I saw this sign yesterday from Magnolia Market, I thought, "How did Joanna Gaines know I needed this?!  I wonder how much I would have to pay to have her be my mothering mentor?"

We've had a crazy year.  We did some school and then Ben came home from deployment.  We did some school and then we had the holidays.  We did some school and then we moved across the country.  We did some school and then we did some exploring of our new state and had 3 rounds of visitors.  We've continued to do school through the summer as we've tried to meet new friends and figure out living in the desert.  We're getting ready to finish our school year and take a little break before Ben deploys again.

Through this whole crazy year, I've felt really good about homeschooling.  I love teaching our kids.  I love our little schoolroom and I really enjoy our days together.  But something happened this week...this was the worst week of school we have ever had.  It probably had something to do with the fact that Ben told the kids this week that he's deploying some time next month.  Or maybe it had something to do with the failed math assessment.  Or maybe we all just burnt out from the accumulation of this year.  I don't know, I just know it was very bad.

All of the sudden, the kids could not finish a single assignment well.  There were tears and pouting and grumbling and complaining about each and every subject.  I realized how quick I am to offer rewards for finishing something.  Alison especially will do anything for a reward.  I potty trained her in a matter of days just for stickers, she'll participate in sports for ice cream and persevered through Ancient history for a fish.

It's easy and it works, but what is it really teaching her?  To only get something done if you get something out of it?

We spent a lot of time this week talking about this verse:

Ironically, it took her three attempts to write it without misspelling a word and she was copying it out of the Bible!  Sigh.

I felt like the kids were just not there.  They weren't engaged and waiting for the moment I said, "Okay, school is done." so they could have their screen time.  I lost count how many times that I told them that they are not entitled to electronics and I could easily take away their screen time.

I know you're waiting for my 3 easy steps to raise hard working kids in an entitled world.  You're probably looking for the pretty picture to pin or the fun graphics to map out the best parenting skills.  I don't have it.  The humbling truth is, it's a matter of the heart and there isn't a quick fix for that.  Our house is already electronic limited and I could take away the little that they have for all of eternity and it still wouldn't give them a good work ethic.  I can talk to them all day long about the importance of doing a job well, even when you feel like your "boss" (aka mom at this time in life) is mad at you and it can all fall on hard hearts.  I could give them countless chores and make them slave away all day long, but it still doesn't mean they'll want to the job before them well.

 My easy steps to make them work hard won't change their heart.  Even without electronics, our kids are still being ingrained that "You should get what your heart desires".  They feel entitled to eat the fun Elsa fruit snacks and to win every game they play and to participate in every single extra curricular activity they want.

My only answer is to pray.
God is the Lord of their hearts, not me.

The best lesson we can teach our kids is to run to Jesus; admitting we are weak and full of sin and need his forgiveness and strength.  The second best is leading by example.  Let them hear your prayers over your family and let them see you working hard for the Lord.  Get in beside them as they scrub toilets and bring them into the kitchen with you to prepare dinner.

Work at parenting with all your heart because you are working for the Lord. Don't neglect praying over your kids and never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.

Too bad there aren't any Navy bases in Waco Texas.  Doesn't living on a farm next to the Gaines' sound fabulous?

1 comment:

  1. Love this Jen! Faith and I are always looking for excuses to get as close to the Gaines as possible. They have changed the way I look at my own home. It can be functional and pretty to look at.