Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Chores are never very fun, but they are a necessity in life. Work is inevitable regardless of whether or not it is at home or away.
I do not believe I grew up learning very good self-discipline. I find myself struggling with "chores" all the time...household and organization. I also find it easier to just do the jobs myself rather than have the children do them. I wonder if it is because of my perfectionist attitude and that I want it done right. But what I am finding is that the workload is becoming unbearable and stacking up, the clutter is overwhelming and my kids are becoming me (undisciplined). Blech!
Oh, I've read books and blogs and stories. I KNOW I ought to be teaching them to do it themselves, consistently on a daily basis. I KNOW! So why don't I do it?
Because I am undisciplined! Okay, so I've developed this incredible vicious circle that goes around and around and doesn't get anywhere.
I've discovered for sanity's sake I NEED to learn how to break free of this circle and begin moving forward. One of my deepest desires is to teach my children to become disciplined in their every day tasks so that they too, won't spend their days overwhelmed.

Wisdom of Sirach:
22:1-3 A lazy man may be compared to a filthy stone, And everyone hisses at his dishonor. A lazy man may be compared to the filth of manure; Everyone who picks it up will shake it off his hand. The disgrace of a father is begetting an undisciplined son, and a foolish daughter is born to his loss.
26:16 Like the sun rising in the Lord's heaven is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.

How have you broken free from this vicious cycle, if you were trapped in one? How have you endeavored to teach your children to be orderly and disciplined? Do you have any favorite scriptures that have encouraged you through this process?
I know I do not have a huge audience on here (maybe only get 3-4 hits a day), but I'd love to hear from you. You could even ask around and see what answers you may get.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Xenia Kathryn said...

Hello, friend!
No clue, no clue, no clue... I wish I knew. But any time I embark on creating a new habit or enforcing a new rule, I just remind myself over and over again that it'll take at least 40 days to get into the habit, or at least the mind-set of enforcing a new rule. The "end result" will probably take much, much longer, but after 40 days the worst of the transition (i.e. nagging the kids, stirring up motivation, forcing yourself to do x, y and z, is probably over).

Will it be painful? As my spiritual father says (b/c I struggle with the same issues): "Yes, it will be excrutiating". But give it some time, and remember that you're doing it for Christ alone.

Stacy said...

Hi Susan-

Sometimes look at the end result that we want, and try to achieve that right away. I think that just leads back to the cycle. Introduce your family to the ALSO principle. If someone is going in to use the bathroom, they should ALSO straighten the towels. If someone is washing their face, they could ALSO wipe down the vanity. If someone is going into their room, they should ALSO bring personal belongings with them. Doing one extra thing is easier than changing everthing, and you can build on from there. If your kids are going to gather eggs, they should ALSO clean the coops, etc. If someone is cooking, he/she should ALSO clean up. Make sense? The ALSO principle will change your life. And, it's easy to remember, and no charts involved. Easy, effective, life changing. You can do it!

Maria said...

I am in this struggle with you. I try to start small. For instance, getting everyone to clear their plates and load them into the dishwasher. Getting them to hang up their coats and put away all the mittens and boots, not too long after they come through the door. Getting them to put their dirty clothes in the wash at night. Etc. Just these few things help, and create the expectation that they have to help and they ought to be responsible for their things.

Helen said...

It is easier to do things for your children rather than to have them do it when you remind them. I always tell myself that I am doing a disservice to my daughter if I do her chores for her. I don't know if that helps. Have a good day. Helen

K/C said...

My children have all grown up, but back when I was homeschooling them I made a chart (I was big in charts). I had a little 3x5 pocket for each child and would rotate 3x5 cards with chores written on them. I had a description of the chore on the back of the card, so everyone did it the same way.
With 5 kids at home I used every method available to keep some semblence of order in our lives.