Someone forgot to tell the little boys to clean up their mess before they could eat their lunch today. That was me.
I was lying in bed for a while because my tummy has been aching a little probably due to something I ate a couple of days ago. There’s a possibility it could be a little bug that’s going around too, but I doubt it.
Clean Up the Living Room
The living room wasn’t that messy, but there were a number of things to pick up. Most of them were contained in our large indoor trampoline.
A few decorative couch pillows were still on the rug where they like to “camp” with them and build forts and things. There might have been a couple of other things on the floor and the rug, but I don’t really remember: I wasn’t dwelling on it.
I needed to go to another room to take care of something so I asked 7-year-old Abraham if he could tidy up the living room area. I just asked him very casually and calmly.
It Looked Beautiful!
I was gone for a few minutes. When I came back to the living room to sit at my recliner to do work, the living room looked beautiful! The teak couch back had all the pillows neatly placed for comfortable sitting again, the rug and wooden floor completely clean and free of any toys and trash, and the trampoline was without a trace of stuffed animals and other fun things the younger three played with this morning.
As I walked back into the living room, I didn’t expect Abraham to clean it right away since he was still cleaning up in the kitchen as part of his jobs after meals. I was very impressed!
Incentives for Diligence
Our children really do a great job at cleaning considering their ages. We also try to give them incentives. This way we feel we prepare them for life — for their future and to have a healthy view of work. We tell them that if they like to eat (which they enthusiastically do), they should love to work. The more they work and are happy, diligent workers, the more they can most likely earn in the future!
We pay our children extra chore money and for many things they do as a member of our household. We’ve done this for years. Their extra chore money can add up to a significant amount of money, but we believe that it is worth it.
We also sometimes fine our children as a creative consequence. While they can earn a lot of money by doing extra chores, they can lose their hard-earned money fairly easily too. There’s no nagging or repeating. They just get a fine that is proportional to their disobedience or foolishness. :-)
Wise Financial Decisions
Tim told me last night that Abraham had already earned more than 100 dollars. I was surprised that he had saved that much money since we sometimes give them the opportunity to spend their money. We try to give them opportunities to make wise decisions about spending their money so that they can see if what they get is rewarding and gratifying or was a waste of all the hard work it took to earn it.
For the most part, we encourage our children to save up for something big and useful like a tool or something they can use to possibly earn some money with. We think it’s great they get to learn these lessons on money and finances early on!
Cultivating a Desire to Produce
I looked at Abraham as he was cleaning up in the kitchen and said,”Wow Abraham! The living room looks great. You did such a great job!"
He smiled and laughed a soft happy chuckle. I could tell he was pleased I was impressed.
"So what are you saving up for?"
His response? A GoPro.
Our older three children have been trying to save up for a GoPro camera for a while (or comparable video camera) since we taught them a little about filming. Heistheway also produced her first footage using Adobe’s Premiere Pro by herself at the age of nine almost two years ago -- they have a little bug for photography and videography. They probably caught that from their parents!
It had been a while since I asked him why he wanted wanted one so I asked him again. “Why do you want a GoPro?"
“Because if you get good footage, you could possibly earn a living with it one day.”
I nodded my head in agreement. That was a great response.
Teaching and Learning for God’s Glory
We’re thankful when we can teach our children good work ethics especially about being diligent and being productive and joyful. We know they have much to learn and continue on this road of life (we do too), reaping the joys of their wise decisions and hard work or going through the consequences of the opposite.
It’s a joy for me, as their mother, to guide them in this journey knowing that ultimately they can use these talents and gifts for the glory of God.