I have really given a lot of thought to this lately and I thought I would share.
Raising kids is hard, can I get an AMEN?? Sometimes, I really feel like I might be overly strict about stuff with the kids. We've really been instilling in them, while they've been with us in July, that life just isn't about them. It's about your family. It's about your friends. But more than that, it's about your future.
We are really trying hard to teach the kids responsibility. We are trying hard to teach the kids consideration of others. We are trying to teach the kids how to behave and be a person that other people want to have over to their home. And there are times that I just think, "They are 8! They are 11! They aren't adults yet, it's OK if they don't do this or that." But then I think, "All of this I am doing now is laying the ground work for this little person to be a good husband or wife someday. I am laying down groundwork for how to be a good parent and how to set boundaries. Everything we do on a daily basis is showing them examples of how to live on this planet with others."
It's a tremendous burden at times, this thing they call parenting. It's so hard to want them to like you, but to know it's not always about being liked. It's really difficult pushing them to do things they don't want to do in an effort to make them more independent. It's really hard to hold them accountable for little things that could very easily turn in to big things, when you could easily just look the other way and fix whatever it is they've done or just do it for them.
Tonight, it was Sophia's turn to do the dishes. She was emptying the dishwasher and I told her that I would do the rest, since it was a lot. Later on, she actually came up and thanked me and said, "Thank you for doing that for me." It took me off guard - neither of them ever thanked us for doing the dishes before. And that's because neither of them had really ever understood what a beating it was to wash them. But for her to genuinely say thank you to me, it gave me reassurance that making them do the dishes all these weeks, despite the whining and the opposition, they are learning an incredibly valuable lesson. That someone's gotta do it and we are a family here, and I appreciate when it's my turn but someone does it for me to be nice.
Every once in a while, God gives you that glimpse of satisfaction, to let you know you are doing something right. And boy, does it feel great.