(At this point I’ll get one of two responses…)
*UGH! huff, puff, kick the floor and he moves like molasses* –OR– “NO! I don’t WANT to!” (child throws herself on the floor, kicks and screams.)
And there I am. The mother who thinks she is a witch for asking these little people to go clean up toys which might get stepped on and broken. I’m frustrated, tired, and at a loss.
I tried something new yesterday. It worked well. I’m hoping that this new strategy will continue to work.
If you’ve been a Reader around this blog for any length of time, you know that I have been dealing with my weight problem. It’s not a huge problem by society’s standards, but for me, it’s a huge obedience issue. And this is the Truth has been pounded into my brain recently: If you love me, you will follow my commandments. Now I know there is not a “Thou shalt not overeat” in the Ten Commandments. But those commandments do mention something about “not having any other gods before Me.” That’s the commandment I’ve been dealing with. I do love my Lord. I want to follow His commands because that behavior PLEASES Him. Even when I fall short and I sin, I know that I can try to obey the next time because God loves me and is wanting me to do well. He is on my side.
I decided to try this Truth with my kids. After all, the family is a picture of our relationship with God.
One of the things I have noticed recently was that my husband would get frustrated with the kids because of all the toys on their bedroom floors. Between all four of us there would be loud voices, tears, and threats of trash bags. Then I had this revolutionary thought: (at least it was for me)
What if I could get the kids to pick up their rooms because it PLEASED their father?
I tried it yesterday.
“Hey Kids! Daddy gets home in about 30 minutes. Let’s all work together to clean up the house. You guys clean up the toys in your rooms and I’ll work on the living room and dinner. It will PLEASE your Daddy to come home and see your clean bedrooms. Let’s do this for him!”
And off we went. No tears. No whining. No stomping of the feet.
“Hey Mama! Come look at my room!”
“Hey Mama! Come see my room!”
“You worked SO hard! Daddy will be pleased!”
And Daddy was pleased.
This might be a fluke, but I’m hoping to try this motivation in other chore areas. Maybe in the process I can teach the kids that we are to work as unto the Lord, and not for man.
I think the key to this is relationship. I am blessed to have a husband who has a great relationship with his children. And just as I desire to be more obedient to my Heavenly Father as I spend time with Him, my kids will desire to please their earthly father as they spend time with each other.