Thursday, March 4, 2010

Life is Therapy - Learning Their Place

I have been made aware of a fellow blogger who has created a "Life is Therapy" series of posts, and since she has invited other bloggers to take park, i thought i would.  I am a follower, after all. {sheepish grin}

Many of us realize that teenagers are becoming increasingly less self-sufficient at increasingly-advanced ages, in fact not limiting itself to the teen years anymore.  Most would not deny there is a certain angst to being a teen that rarely besets us again in life.  A year or so ago, however, i learned an eye-opening (and "well, duh!") piece of information about teenagers: they are caught between two worlds who won't accept them, so they create their own.  Right.  I told you: duh!

Well, in raising my children, i have understood that it is crucial that we impart more than knowledge before they abandon the safety of our home.  We must instill values, create self-awareness, and provide opportunities for our children to become the adults God has set them apart to be.  One way we let them down is by allowing them to be children with no responsibilities until they are teens, then trying to buck against their temporary insanity hormonal imbalances to create "almost adults" at the last minute.

But, no!  We must start young.  And many of us do not realize we have fallen off the path toward maturity with our offspring until we hit the cursed teen years.  Sadly, i would have stumbled in that manner, as well, if not for the right information at the right time and the kick in the tail inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

My children are, well, lazy.  Not to be helped with the parents they were dealt, but still....  They have inconsistent parenting when it comes to chores and household duties.  But God had a plan, and we have been following it this week.  They needed to have a job.  One that is all their own, and one that defines their place in the family.  So, i assigned our dog's eating schedule to the oldest two children, and did a happy dance informed them of their new responsibility.  Okay, not a big deal, you say?  Well, i also informed them that our dog would not eat if they did not personally follow through with their jobs.  No Mommy feeding the dog because everyone is still sleeping.  No Daddy feeding the dog because you want to play on the computer after dinner.  Feed the dog at your scheduled time or the dog doesn't eat.

Well, the reason i believe this to be "Life is Therapy" worthy is this: in the past, the children have grumbled when i have asked them to feed the dog. (it may not seem like a big chore, but we're odd, and we feed our dog by using a ball feeder that has to be filled using a funnel - it makes him work for his food using the Nothing In Life Is Free philosophy, but also makes the task of preparing his meal a bit more challenging)  Anyway, upon setting up the schedule and taking the responsibility off myself, i have noticed how quickly they have changed their tunes!  Today was only day 4 of the new schedule, and i heard my son go downstairs and feed our his dog before he even got himself breakfast.  Then, this evening, my daughter fed our her dog before putting on a television show.  Wow!  Not only was i impressed, but it cemented what i believe we are trying to do: give them a place in the world so they can be proud to make themselves at home in it.

Okay, one of my longer posts, but i felt it important enough to share.  Never underestimate the ways we provide education and therapy in the everyday opportunities with our children.   
Operation Laziness Therapy 101: A+

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking up. Glad to hear that your kids are living up to your recently raised expectations!