I have been thinking a lot about how my boys (and most of the children in this country) think that they have entitlement to just about everything.
Think about it. Everyone has a cell phone, laptop (or other access to the internet), Ipod, Ipad, well..... 'I' something, lol. Even their electronics are telling them that it's all about them with the "I". Geeze.
What about good ole fashion chores? Do these children know how to cook a meal? Do they know how to do their own laundry? What about cleaning up after themselves for goodness sake? Well, my children do KNOW how, but they don't do it without mom nagging, yelling, begging, bribing, you name it.
Well, not anymore. Grounding them didn't work either, so I came up with a solution. It's an EXPECTATION LIST. Each of my boys received one from mom last night. This is an example of one.
Johnny's Expectations -
Personal Hygiene - You need to wash your face, brush your teeth am & pm, use deodorant, and wash your hands with SOAP after you use the bathroom!
Now these are just simple requests right? Things that they should be doing already. Things that they have been told to do over and over again until mom is literally ready to bust! It's not like I asked them to dig a ditch in the back yard or something.
Kitchen Dish Duty - You need to do ALL the dishes, wash all the countertops and stove.
Again, things that they already know and should be doing. There are several things on my expectation list, but I nothing they didn't know already. Hard work and chores makes children responsible adults. It gives the confidence, a sense of pride in their accomplishments. The Bible even talks about work.
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then
because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in
everything you put your hand to. (NIV)
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (NIV)
Here is the kicker. When I introduced this to my boys, both my teenagers thought I was torturing them. Really? One told me that he lives in a free country and that this is a democracy! (Did he just say that?)
Lets take a look on what 'democracy' is.
Democracy is a form of government
in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that
affect their lives.
Enough said. They do NOT have an equal say in any decision in our household. If they did, we wouldn't be parents, we then be roommates. Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children how to be God fearing, loving, self-sufficient adults.....not be their buddies & roommates.
So I, the tyrant that I am (sarcasm used here), told them both that they needed to sign that they understood all that is expected out of them. Of course they both said that they weren't going to sign it. I just smiled and said, "Ok, then go get your electronics. If you don't sign it, you don't have the internet / video game privledge." The look on their faces were priceless. Yes, mom has had enough.
"Did you get this stuff off the internet or in one of those books you read?" is one question I was asked. I gently explained that I got it from him. Yes, he is the one for the inspiration. See if I didn't have to tell my oldest to wash his face and several other things SEVERAL TIMES A DAY, then it wouldn't have come to this.
I gently reminded him how just yesterday he told me that I complicate things and nag & yell all the time. Well my son, I fixed the problem. No more of mom's nagging. No more of me getting stressed out from yelling and begging them to do what is expected out of all of them. You got exactly what you asked for my son.
You are welcome and I love you.