If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Monday, November 7, 2011

2 Levels of Gratitude

Let me start this out by saying I was SOOOOO frustrated with my kids this weekend.  At first, I thought it was all their fault and then, as the weekend went on, I realized that God was opening my eyes to a valuable parenting lesson.  Basically, it all revolved around a lack of gratitude and a lot of whining about things that they should not have been whining about like picking up after themselves or helping me with their school assignments.

So I vented about how ungrateful they were and marched off to my room to come up with a plan to make them into grateful people now!  My first instinct is always to blame our environment.  How can you be grateful for what you have when your surrounded by a community of abundance?  But then it hit me.  I have already been addressing all of that.  I let them pay for anything they really want that I don't deem necessary. They don't even know what designer clothes are except when they are hand-me-downs and even then they don't know the difference.  They don't own an i-anything or a DS.   Seriously my kids really don't have near the stuff as their peers.  And then it hit me again.  I am missing an entire side of gratitude.

My kids are incredibly grateful for what people give them.  I think we are doing well there.  However, they aren't as grateful for what others do for them.  I have been working so hard to teach them the value of material goods that I have missed the value of self-sacrifice and service.  Does that make sense?  Basically, I am raising little people who think that if they spread it out on the floor that mom will be glad to come behind them and pick it up and that is how it should be.  So without shocking their little systems, I think it is time for some change around here.  I would love to hear how you break up household responsibilities.  I am a mom on a new mission to raise kids who value the service of others and naturally take responsibility for their own contribution.  Any advice?


Lisa P said...

Ginny this is a tough one...i think all of us as parents struggle with. In my house they always like to blame it on their brother. Its not mine its his therefore its his responsiblity to pick it up. We are constantly try to work on the idea that the family is a community as well. If its on the floor pick it up no matter whose it is. You see something that needs to be taking care of then do it. It seems to be a very slow learning process at least for us. I have to say a lot of "I see the legos are still on the floor", or Aiden your dresser drawers are open ect... As far as household responsiblity we try to break it up evenly according to their ablitly. Such as dishwasher unloading Ethan does the plates- bottom rack, Aiden cups -top rack, and owens does the sliverware (but he leaves steak knives for me). We also have the trash broken down Ethan takes out kitchen (big trash)owen does the trash from bathroom cans, and then aiden has to dustbust the floor in the kitchen around the table. They all three have to do things like their room, taking out the recycle that i pile up daily, clear dishes from table and rinse and put in dish washer after meals, and put away their own folding laundry. I think the best we can do is show our kids that things dont just magically happen. Everything is there because someone had to work for it. Rather it be a clean house, clean clothes, food on the table..ect and they can all be apart of making that happen. Hopefully in the long run it will make them gratiful for what they have???

Mullin It Over said...

I have to say that my house is probably a lot messier than most! :) However, one thing I will mention, and many do not agree with us, is that we never, ever pay our children to do chores. When they mention that others get paid or rewarded to do household chores, we usually respond that no one pays us, the parents, for doing things around the house. We do it and they help because we are a family, and we need their help. Then we praise them for their help. If they complain, I respond with, "Well, frankly, I didn't want to wash the dishes, but I did it anyway. We are a family and every one needs to help. I cannot do it all. And by the way, you are such a great helper" Growing up, I was paid to do the dishes and other things. As I got older, I would just not do my chores because watching tv was more appealing than the money I received. So, I don't want that to happen with my kids. There are lots of ways to break down the things to be done, and I'll leave that to others.

Melody Lietzau said...

I Agree with the other two comments. We do not pay our children for there chores. However if they want to earn money they can do chores for grandparents and think of creative ways to make money. We are struggling with this very issue and even took a few days of homeschool to look up scripture on this topic and our whole curriculumn was around grattitude. Some days I wish we could go to another country where they can see what hard work and going without is like. keep the ideas coming :) I love your blog. You are doing wonderful as a mom and the grattitude will come.

Hunan Mommy said...

We started a marble jar. Each time you do the chores on the list for each day, you receive two marbles. If you do more than listed, we determine how many at the end of the day. After x number of marbles you receive something. You can make this however small or little you want. I thought it was beneficial, because, he actually came to me looking for things to do to earn marbles.

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