Laying a Foundation (Part One)
(excerpted from The Everyday Family Chore System)
Child training is the first step to successful home management training.
The purposes of implementing a family chore system are (1) to train your children to be responsible members of a family and to diligently serve one another, and (2) to disciple or apprentice them in living skills.
I hesitated to even call oursThe Everyday Family Chore System (partly because I didn’t want it to be misperceived as a How-to-Make-Slaves-of-Your-Children system!) but The Everyday Family Service System just didn’t seem to convey to parents what this book includes. But serving and honoring one another – and God – is at the heart of the success of any home management training “system.”
Envision your children at twelve – or eighteen – years of age. What living skills would you like them to have acquired? What sort of attitude should they demonstrate toward work? Authority? Serving one another? How will they get to that point?
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden….” Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
As God’s children, we must model in our relationship to Him the same behaviors we would like our children to display toward us. As parents, we should:
- Submit to authority without rebellion.
- Apologize if needed.
- Do everything without complaining.
- Work on skills and character (theirs and ours).
- Work ourselves out of a job!
Parents ultimately hope their children will make wise choices from changed hearts and a desire to please God, their parents, and themselves. We want our kids to show stellar character and good judgment in their decisions. However, it has been said, “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” Give them opportunities to learn from mistakes when they are young, being sure that the consequences are safe and relatively temporary.
FOUR BASIC PRINCIPLES
Although this is not a child training/discipline book [see Suggested Resources for further information], there are some basic principles that must be understood, a foundation upon which the methods or ideas in the how-to sections of this book must be built. These include:
- Have realistic and age-appropriate expectations.
- Establish rules or standards.
- Have a working knowledge of family discipline.
- Tie strings to their hearts.
(We will highlight each of the four principles in future posts. Check back soon!
Don’t want to wait to get your kids to help at home? Preview or purchase the entire book here.)