In a family, we all need each other. We are a team, and we share in the responsibility of the household. “God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Cor. 12:18). Each child has a special contribution to make to the body of Christ, and to whatever group she is in, including her family. When everyone contributes, everyone benefits. One child’s service to the family blesses other family members.
In addition, children need to serve in order to grow into healthy, contributing adults. When parents do everything for their children, they can create a sense of entitlement that leaves kids unprepared to care for themselves and others. However, when kids use their talents in ways that bless others, they begin to find their way into the purposes for which God created them.
So what can I do to help my family learn to serve together?
If my children complain about and avoid chores, an essential part of the solution is to nurture a culture of joyful teamwork in my family, which prepares them for faithful service in the body of Christ.
The importance of building joy and teamwork into chores was graphically illustrated by the contrast between our interactions with two different moms in one week.
Rochelle had been required to do chores when she was young and there were strong consequences if she refused or protested. She shared her discouragement about the impact of this with Lynne one day over coffee. She now generally dislikes housework and quickly feels resentful and critical if she thinks she might be doing more than her share.
A few days after that conversation, we joined our friend Jerilyn at her cabin and she welcomed us with joy. She refused to let us put our fresh sheets on the bed, and said, “Oh, no. You have no idea how fast Gracie and I are at this!!” Her 12-year-old daughter Gracie grinned—she knew the drill. The two of them whisked the old sheets off and got the new ones on in no time, laughing about their blinding speed and amazing skill. Jerilyn had been widowed with young children, but she nurtured joy in teamwork as a family, even purchasing three used lawnmowers so that Jerilyn, her son Paul, and Gracie can all mow the cabin’s large lawn at the same time. Their motto about family chores is, “If we all work together, we’ll get it done in no time!” There is never a need for discipline or consequences for avoiding chores; the kids serve eagerly and diligently.
In this “tale of two moms”, we see how we parents set the tone for family teamwork on chores. When we emphasize working together to contribute as a family, our kids learn by experience that “many hands make light work.” Not only will this make chores a more pleasant experience in our homes, but more importantly it will instill in our children a sense of their ability to fulfill their work in God’s kingdom throughout their lives.
To learn more, register for our online course The Entitlement Fix: Growing Hard Work and Gratitude In Your Kids!
This fast-paced 4-session course is designed to give parents a solid strategy for stamping out entitled attitudes, and moving toward greater meaning in life.
You’ll learn to take your kids through a simple process for helping your family have constructive conversations about rights, responsibilities, and privileges in your home. You’ll learn graceful responses for the inevitable conflict that emerges when parents confront selfishness. Most importantly, you’ll learn a perspective that grounds all your efforts in eternal truths from the Bible.
Join us today! At $23, we believe this is a fantastic value. If this is still out of your reach, simply contact us for a scholarship.