** Post by guest blogger Rusty Rea **
The other day Kelsi had to run to the store and before she left she asked if I could make sure the kids picked up our living room before bed. Well, being Captain Efficient, I told the girls to tidy up and I went and unwound on the computer. After a few minutes I heard wrestling and giggling. I walked into the living room to find most of the toys and books still on the floor, and Olivia sitting on top of Maddi. I asked them why the living room wasn’t getting cleaned and Maddi volunteered that she was trying to clean but Olivia was squishing her (mind you Maddi is the older sister and about a solid foot taller). Oh how often is that story ‘US’?
How often do we dodge responsibility for fun or ‘the short cut’ then immediately blame someone or something else? I asked Maddi if she was laughing and giggling when she was telling Olivia to get off, or if she was firmly saying, ‘Papa told us to tidy up, we need to obey or we will get into trouble.’ Of course it was the former. After explaining that even if she was trying to be responsible and actually clean instead of play, that her tone signaled to Olivia that she was more interested in playing than working.
Work is called ‘work’ for a reason – it’s WORK! Sometimes we are wise enough to follow a career path that work is also enjoyable, but regardless of how enjoyable work can be, it is still ‘work’ and you will have to buck up and just get the job done.
As adults we understand that, or at least we should. You don’t have to walk too far out your front door to find adults who don’t adhere to the philosophy of ‘work is work, and sometimes you just have to get it done whether you want to or not.’ The plain and simple reason that there are adults who think that way is because they were at one time a kid who thought that way- and that attitude was never corrected or matured.
We don’t allow our kids to whine. When they fuss or complain about anything we immediately tell them we don’t understand ‘fussy’ and until they can speak clearly and respectfully we aren’t going to listen.
When they complain about work, we take it up a step on the discipline. Our kids are not allowed to balk and cry about doing a job, about work. Kids who learn how classy it is to work hard without complaining grow into adults who don’t complain.
Remember, we aren’t just raising kids – we’re raising the next generation of men and women. Character building is much more difficult than those items on the chore list.
This parenting gig is the hardest, most glorious work in the world…