I heard a story not long ago about a young man who didn’t receive the grade he felt he deserved in one of his college courses. Right there in the middle of class, surrounded by nearly 200 fellow students, he dialed his mom and complained to her.
If this was your son, what would you have done?
This mom said, “Put your professor on the phone.”
The young man marched to the front of the room and handed the call over to his professor. “My mom wants to talk to you about my grade.”
The professor informed the perturbed mother that he had no intention of discussing the student’s grade with her. “This isn’t high school,” he said. “Your son didn’t earn a higher grade, so he doesn’t get a higher grade.”
Or how about this one from our guest on today’s program, Kay Wyma? A friend of hers is a human resources director. She was conducting a phone interview with a young man who had just graduated from college. It was going pretty well until … she heard the boy’s father. He was on the line with the boy, telling him what to say. She immediately rescinded her offer and informed the father that his twenty-something-year-old son ought to be capable of interviewing for jobs on his own.
Those are just a couple of situations where I’m sure almost all of us would say, “I would never do that.”
But let’s back up for a moment.
Are you preparing your teenager’s lunch for school? Are you making sure your children have all of their homework in their backpack before they leave each morning? Are you checking over their assignments to make sure they get most of the answers correct?
A lot of well-meaning parents operate out of fear that if they don’t protect their children from all of their mistakes and failures, their children will be left out, they won’t make the team, or their whole future will be in jeopardy.
It’s a common idea in our culture that parents should prepare the path of life for their children instead of preparing their children for the path of life. Is it really a surprise, then, that so many children today wind up believing that they don’t have to earn anything, but that they deserve it, and it’s owed to them?
Rather than believing that the best way to love your children is to do everything for them, consider that the best way to love them is to equip them to do things for themselves. After all, the only way they’ll know how to do things is if we allow them to actually do them.
And one of the best ways to instill that responsibility into your children is through chores in the home.
Maybe you’ve tried that idea before to no success. We’ve got some thoughts on our program today to help you with that. And if they start whining and complaining when you hand out tasks, what do you do then? We’ll have answers for that, too.
This will be a fun program, but it will be meaningful as well. Teaching our children to do for themselves is actually a spiritual concept. Think of the beauty of our relationship with the Lord and how He lets us do a lot of stuff that He could do Himself, a lot faster, easier, and much more efficiently.
But for the Lord, it’s not just about the completion of a task, it’s about our growth and development. It should be the same for us with our children.
Join us for our broadcast with Kay Wyma, a popular author, blogger, and mother to five children. “Practical Advice for Raising Responsible Children” can be heard on your local radio station, online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.