“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9 (NIV 1984)
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” Benjamin Franklin
- It is time to submit to the Lord and listen to His voice. Start your day with Him if you can, and let Him rouse your spirit awake. Even if you are still sleepy, it is amazing how time in His Word and in prayer can give a tired mama the energy she needs!
- Read Proverbs 1:8-9 and write the verses in your journal. Realize that God wants two beautiful things to happen—for us to instruct and teach our children, and for our children to accept these instructions from us. Spend a few moments praying about these verses.
Giving Our Children More Responsibilities in Love
We recently had a fourth baby, and with his arrival, I have had to lean on my three daughters to take responsibility for things I had previously done myself. Can I admit something? This has been hard for me! I have the tendency to be the type of mother who would rather do the household chore or job myself because it is easier. Involving my kids can often be messy, annoying, and actually cause the chore to take longer. Do you agree with me, mamas?! However, I know this way of thinking and approaching responsibilities is wrong. We need to allow our children to learn by our
instruction. Even though they will mess up in the beginning, teaching them is what we are called to do, and we are equipping them to be more capable human beings in the process.
Ephesians 6:4 says, regarding our children, we are to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” We should not be relying on their friends, our neighbors, or even television shows to model how to do household jobs and more importantly, how to take responsibility for their actions and messes. The Lord has spoken to me time and time again about this, and in writing this Bible study, my prayer is that I can change my ways and encourage you, mamas, to do the same. As mothers, we need to take the time to show our children how to do the dishes, fold their laundry, and empty the trash. We need to consistently allow them to mess up and still praise their efforts, even if
they are doing the job in a less than perfect way.
Another important aspect of teaching your children more responsibilities is teaching them to have good attitudes. While completing jobs around the house yourself, I want to challenge you to do them with a joyful and grateful heart. Ultimately, our children strive to be like us, and they are always watching with their curious eyes. Don’t we want them to see a mama who is thankful she has floors to clean and trash to collect? Children will do their chores begrudgingly: let’s endeavor to show them not only how to complete a job, but that it can be done in good spirits as well!
After all, we eventually want our children to accept ownership for a task or chore and to do it without being told. Our prayer is that our children will do the job because it needs to be done and accept that it is their obligation to do it. This is called teaching our children responsibility! We need to model Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) and, “train up a child in the way he should go…” This is the will of God for us as parents! In this process, we have to give up control of the jobs being done exactly as we would like them to be done. By allowing our children to “do it their way,” we are championing a feeling of pride, accomplishment, and joy in their little hearts.
In the end, accountability, responsibility, and obedience, are what the Lord demands of our children; and we have the honor to model and teach them these qualities. We will be doing our children a huge disservice if we don’t rise to this vital occasion. Over time, I have observed a beautiful principle—the children most accountable to act responsibly are the happiest and most secure in love and grounded in good will—in His good will.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- How are you doing in this area of mothering? Write down a few ways you could do a better job in your journal. How can you give up control in your home?
- Are your kids doing regular chores around the house? And are they doing those jobs with a cheerful heart? Below is a helpful list of realistic jobs for your children. Try implementing a couple of them in your home this month.
Ok mamas! I am so honored to encourage and nudge you in the right direction towards training your children. I have compiled a list of simple jobs for different age groups. Use it! Accept this challenge and change the way your household is run.
3-5 years old
1. Empty the plastic cups, bowls, and plates from the dishwasher
2.Wipe down the front of the fridge, oven, and doors with a wet washcloth
3. Put away toys and straighten books on the bookshelf
4. Clean off the kitchen table
5. Fold towels and washcloths
6.Make their beds
6-8 years old
1. Fold all of their own laundry and put away in closet/dresser
2. Gather all of the trash cans from around the house and empty in a large bag
3.Empty the entire dishwasher except for the sharp knives
4.Wipe down the countertops in the kitchen and bathroom
5. Sweep floors
6.Empty the litter box if you have a cat
7. Fill your pet’s food and water bowl
9-11 years old
2.Help with meal prep
4.Pull weeds and tend to the garden if you have one
5. Wash the windows/mirrors with glass cleaner
7. Clean the sinks and toilets in the bathroom
Once a child is 12 years old, he or she should be doing all of the same household chores as you and your husband. Now is the time to really begin teaching and training your children to live on their own one day. Remember, as always, you do YOU, and we are praying for you!