Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)
As I went downstairs to help catch up on our family’s laundry backlog today, I was shocked (and yet, not surprised at all) to find it in complete disarray. Various articles of clothing strewn everywhere from the steps to the washer and dryer, and then all around both of those.
“Alex!!” I thought to myself, angered and frustrated… and exasperated.
Alex is our now 8-year-old laundry helper. For some reason when he was about 5 years old he volunteered for laundry duty, and so, Mom was happy to employ his services! But, also for some reason—believe me, we’ve asked, but without success thus far—he can not do some very simple parts of it (even with clear instruction).
Now, there are many more important things we want Alex to learn. To consider others better than himself. To know that he is loved more than he can imagine by his Creator. To know that Creator. And plenty of other things we are building into his character, as with all our kids.
But at what point is this a character issue? My dad always taught me, “Do it right the first time!” I still remember it today, and I think I live it. So, I’ve been saying that with Alex on this, too, since we have had to re-wash loads of laundry more times than I can count.
The real character issue is that he seems to try to cover up his “forgetfulness” (when he doesn’t do what he tells Mom that he did do). When is it just a tiny eight-year-old boy learning to do a job that may be beyond his physical abilities right now, and when is it an issue of disobedience and even lying to cover up the disobedience. That’s what we’re trying to figure out.
Anyone reading this have any similar experience, and perhaps a solution or two that worked for you? Everyone is different, so who knows if it would work for Alex, but so far, we have not found any method of correction that has. And at this point the frustration is not just Mom & Dad’s, but also little Alex’s, too. And that’s no good.
So we keep plugging away at this parenting thing. Sometimes we learn a lesson from parents who’ve gone before us. Sometimes we learn from how our Father teaches and trains us. Sometimes we just learn “by accident”. 🙂 (We have a lot of practice!) But, we keep going, because even through any frustrations, there are not any cooler people on the planet than these six that God has entrusted to our care.
(Probably a slightly biased view, but 100% true from my vantage point.) 🙂