One of the toughest aspect of parenting has to be consistency. You know, not changing the rules of the house too often, making sure kids know what’s expected. I’ve found that consistency – or lack of it – can drive people crazy. For example, I know someone who says his mom was rarely consistent. One day he could sleep in, the next she wanted to know why he was in bed. What’s a kid to do? For parents, keeping after kids to do what is expected of them is hard work though, and it makes sense that sometimes we just want to relax a bit. However, I’ve seen the results of those who do less than 100% (ever been to a dirty hotel room?) and if that’s the alternative to good training while my kids are still home, then I’m motivated!
I don’t know how many times I’ve had to have my kids completely complete their work. Here’s how it usually goes: they are sent off to do a job, say vacuuming, and it’s not long and I hear the vacuum being put away. Too soon, actually. “Did you do a thorough job?” They always say yes. “Would I think so? (Trust me, folks, I’m not that picky!) They usually say some form of ‘probably not’. “Shall I check?” I then hear the vacuum running again. Some would argue that I’m being too fussy, or I could just finish the job myself. Maybe…but what message does that send the child?
Here’s what I see: Not expecting someone to do 100% of a job when you know that they can, but are just choosing not to, tells them something you don’t want. Here’s my list:1. it’s okay to be lazy, 2. it’s okay to not do what is expected of you, 3. I can do something different when my parent/boss isn’t looking, 4. I don’t expect much of myself, 5. this is a habit that feels comfortable.
Just this morning I listened to another employer telling me he can’t find good help. “They all want to screw around…I feel like I’m running a babysitting service.” These are people who aren’t doing 100%. Those who master domestic discipline are less likely to become those folks, I believe. Son One has his first full-time job and just received a raise. His boss is so pleased that when he asks him to do something, he does it. Unfortunately, he stands out as atypical. My son just says, “He told me to wear safety gear and I did.” Apparently the others decided it’d be optional. Bosses notice those kinds of things. Teachers notice when kids meet deadlines and complete all requirements. Spouses notice when requested chores are done. Sadly, most people are more surprised when this happens than not.
So tomorrow, when Son Two mows the lawn and is tempted to skip a section that he doesn’t favor, I’ll be there to remind him, “100%” Someday, my daughter-in-law will thank me….maybe his boss too. But most importantly, is that he’ll work to the glory of God, knowing he’s giving his best every time.