Parenting is one of the great mysteries of life isn’t it?
There’s so much advice out there that you feel like your head could explode at times. I’m sure not trying to add to that feeling with my own thoughts. I want to share a few things I’ve learned through the course of being a parent for 24 years.
There was an interesting question asked on social media the other day and it got me thinking.
Both of my sons are now adults and it’s been fun to have conversations with them now on their take on our parenting style.
When they were growing up I’m pretty sure they told everybody we worked them way to hard. Now as adults it’s fun to hear how they are already realizing how it helped shape them into the amazing men they are now.
Sure Mike and I messed up our fair share and we will be the first ones to admit it. Or at least I will. We’re human and always trying to do our best. We learned early there were going to be plenty of times apologizing so get used to it!
One of the biggest blessings for our boys was growing up doing chores. They were doubly blessed that a good part of these chores involve animals. When you’re responsible for another living, breathing life it makes the responsibility that much bigger.
I’m sure there are people that thought we started our kids on chores too young. There were times that they had to carry the bucket together because they couldn’t lift it by themselves. It helped them learn to work together.
One would climb the fence to get the gate open while the other one used a dog to hold the sheep off. They were learning problem-solving skills early in life. We wouldn’t come to the rescue unless they were in danger. We weren’t sitting on the recliner while our kids did the work. We were out there with them but we purposely gave them jobs that stretched them even from a young age.
The first time our older son drove the cake pickup he was a little over two years old. I’m sure that’s freaking a lot of people out right now. Let me reassure you, we were in the pickup so it’s not like he could go very far. We also had it in low gear so he couldn’t go very fast. I wish you could have seen his face light up every time he got to help mom and dad out in that way!
As they grew up and went to school the chores didn’t stop either. They knew they needed to get up early enough to allow time for their chores before school. Time management is an important lesson, right?
I share this not as a reason to cause comparison in parenting. There is enough of that already! Please know this isn’t for you to run out and get lambs, chickens and calves as the only way to teach your kids responsibility. There are other ways to do that.
Whatever chores work best for your family, it’s a matter of having them be consistent and necessary.
Let your kids feel the responsibility. If it’s making the bed, taking the trash out or feeding the family dog let them be responsible for it. I promise they’re capable and will rise to your expectations.
Please hear my heart on this. Our kids don’t need us to hover over them and do everything. Even early on in life. They need to know they’re loved, safe and capable!!
People of any age appreciate knowing what’s expected so there aren’t these ever changing “lines” they have to try to figure out. Let’s do our children a big favor and help them get the best start to becoming strong, capable, loving men and women!
What are some ways you’re equipping your kiddos to do just that?