Did you do your chores? (part II)
Yesterday we talked about the battle to get your kids to do their chores this summer. At least that’s how we introduced the topic. How we concluded the discussion was a bit different.
See, the biggest mistake we make in this whole “battle” is assuming it’s our responsibility to get our kids to do their chores. I know, this sounds quite illogical at first. “Whaddya mean, it’s not my responsibility? I want them to do a chore—they don’t want to do it—so I have to somehow make ‘em, right?”
Well, you can certainly try, and most of us have. We come up with a perfect system of rewards and punishments, all designed to get them to behave. Unfortunately this system sometimes “works.” I say unfortunately, because that initial success can lull us into the idea that this is what we need to keep doing again and again. Of course, for it to keep working again and again, we have to keep upping the rewards and harshening the punishments. All the while, we develop a growing resentment against the whole program, because we keep wondering, “When is Jr. gonna learn to do his chores on his own? Why do I always have to direct him and remind him?”
If you believe it’s your responsibility to get your son to do his chores, then you’ll always have to direct him, and remind him, and reward him, and punish him. Always.
So, if it’s not your responsibility, then whose is it? It’s his. Since he is the only one who can actually control his next move, then he is the only one responsible for his behavior. We all know this; we just don’t know what it looks like in real life.
For that, come back tomorrow.
Peace begins with pause,