Make life easy on yourself: Raise your kids to be responsible.
Middle of the week and busy! We had several tasks that had to be handled today. Both my husband and I work from home, and folks assume that we have all the time in the world to take care of those little demands that pop up in life with no problem. We do have it much easier than most folks, with both of us available to juggle things, but it takes some planning ahead.
The best thing we have done to this end is to teach our kids to be
independent when needed
and obedient, so we can trust them
Today Man had the boys with him to take the dog to the vet, go to the Feed and Seed for fresh hay for the chickens, do some train watching (a must for boys), and get one of them to the eye doctor.
On my list was picking up the milk from the farm, visiting with family-friends, preparing to teach at the college tonight and meeting up with a friend to pass off one of the girls. That’s a bunch of running. I was about to load the girls up in the truck with me when it dawned on me that we needed to divide and conquer.
I turned to my 13 year old daughter and said, “I need you to make lunch, meet the UPS guy and send these emails to customers.” She said, “I’ll take care of it,” and I knew she would. While I ran to meet the farm folks, she stayed home and cooked a balanced, nutritious lunch for 6. No further instruction was needed. She sent out a blast email for me, even editing the email. She met the UPS man at the door, signed the electric pad and locked the door behind him. No TV. No Phone.
We aren’t the only ones raising our children to be responsible. Our closest friends have an almost-12-year-old daughter who lovingly cares for her 3 younger siblings, aged 3, 4, and 6, when her parents need her to. She can do this while cleaning the kitchen and cooking dinner, while her mom, dad and older brother are working on building a new home for their family. And she does this with a sweet heart. It’s not all the time, but when the family needs her, she is willing and able.
I have many, many examples of parents preparing their kids for future success. They are planning for it. It takes time, effort and focus. We have such a short time with our kids. Such a very short time. For this time to be sufficient, parents must have a plan in place.
We decided early on that we were not raising kids. We were raising ADULTS. This shift in our focus has made a world of difference. We talk to them in the same way we talk to other adults. We expect them to follow through. We set expectations high, quite high. Now at 11 and 13 we have two strong family-team members, instead of two kids who need direction and constant motivation.
Today I encourage you to commit to taking the time necessary to prepare your children for success in adult life.
Responsibility. It’s worth the effort.
PS – No. Our kids are not perfect. We are not perfect parents. We are wretches dependent on our Savior. This is not a forum for bragging, but a place to encourage parents that kids are growing into adults whether they are being prepared for it or not. Prepare them.