Sunday, February 8, 2009
As parents, we work hard to give our kids so much: a full belly, warmth, a happy childhood, good memories, fun experiences. But these days it seems like we shortchange our kids. We don't really ask for much out of them. We feel like we have a good day if they get ready for the day on time with out much complaining. We don't set goals for them that really challenge them, except maybe to be respectful and not lazy.
My husband, Mark, was talking to his dad today at the old homeplace. Mitchell remembers when he would watch the chickens under the house through the floor boards. He remembers how cold it would get at night. And we are glad if our kids just get along with each other.
We have been working to bring up the status of our house from pigpen to orderly. Reaeley made a great suggestion a few weeks ago that we decided to give a try. The kids each have an area of the house to keep clean; Raeley's being the kitchen. She has been doing a great job, even helping wash dishes after dinner, leaving me with a huge feeling of freedom! It's been a struggle with the other kids so it hasn't been smooth goings.
I was out a few days this week working and I immediately noticed how nice everything looked when I got home. The kids were in bed, and Mark just calmly and nonchalantly said they cleaned their areas. The difference was what I expected clean to be and what he did. I was looking at bare minimum. He had them clean the whole area, floor and all. Ingenious. Expectations. I really feel we shortchange our kids. I would love for them to get a bigger picture of the world and a vision to tackle the world, not just tackle their rooms and get out of the house on time.