Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I DO give a "hill of beans"!


Let me explain-

We have been having a parenting class on Wednesday nights at our church. The Lessons have been focusing on "the conscience". We all have one, and as Christian parents we can trust and hope that our children's are being lead by the Spirit. The first thing that the class addresses is...."if we all have a conscience (including our kids), why not use it on our side to teach our children". The focus so far has been not to just "get" your kids to obey, but for them to think about others and why they need to do what is right, by listening to their consciences.

Shortly after starting the class I had a conversation that went something like this with my oldest..

Scene: Laundry Room

Motive: Jillian looking for an article of clothing

Me: Jillian, did you find what you were looking for?
Jillian: (as she is walking out of the room) No (pretty frustrated)
Me: Jillian, come back in here (Jillian comes back in)
Me: Do you see all these clothes you knocked on the floor while looking for your item??
Jillian: Oh (as she steps on some clean clothes while picking some up)
Mom: Do you understand that you always knock clean clothes on the ground while looking for something and never put them away.

Interrupt: Yes, I used the ALWAYS and NEVER words, I know it's a big no no, but it led into the next conversation, which I am glad we had.

Jillian: why do you ALWAYS accuse me of that??
Mom: because you ALWAYS do that!

Mom: Jillian, suppose I had a black bean for every time I saw you girls drop clean clothes on the ground, avoid taking out the trash, not put away your dish, not make your bed, not pick up your dirty clothes. not giving the dog food and water or taking her out to potty, not flushing the toilet...etc (I am sure you are rambling a few more that happen often in your home!), without telling you to do them. What if I put those black beans in a jar.
Then, suppose you had a white bean for ever time you did all those things without being told and added the white bean to the jar. How many white beans do you think you would have?

Jillian: not many

Mom: If I had 100 black beans in the jar and you had 5 white beans in there. What color, do you think we would see first and would stand out more.

Jillian: the black

Mom: Right! Jillian when you become a mom one day, you are going to have to "think outside the box", you will HAVE to think of others, you will have one task you need to do, but on the way to do it, you will see several things that need to be done on the way to doing that task. I have to prepare you now, so that you can do what is right when you are older. If you are putting away your clothes and your sister walked ahead of you and dropped something; pick it up for her. If you tripped over your shoes, put them away, don't just leave them there. If you are putting away dishes and discover the dishes are clean in the dishwasher, put them away, if the trash is overflowing, take it out.

Mom: So let's do an experiment (this had nothing to do with the class just something that came to mind when talking to Jillian about the beans)- I am going to buy black and white beans and get jars. You and your sisters can add a white bean EVERY TIME you do something that is "thinking outside of the box and thinking of others", but if I have to tell you to do something like put away your cereal bowl after eating, etc... then I get to add a black bean to YOUR jar. If I see something that could have been done by any of you then I will add a black bean to EACH jar. At the end of the month we will see who has more beans, white or black. If you don't like to be accused of ALWAYS and NEVER, then prove me wrong!


We are on day 4 and the girls are doing great! Each morning Elizabeth comes in the kitchen she adds a white bean for making her bed. I have not had to ask too much of them of the basic tasks. We are hoping this will make them think "outside of the box". I am sure that it has started with a "I'm going to show you" or "I'm going to win" or let's see how many white beans I can get" attitude. But as we pray through this I hope at the end of the month we can show them how responsible they have been. We also hope they will find joy and seeing fruits of their labor and that it will become a desire in their heart to think and act outside the box, think of others, listen to there conscience by doing the right thing!

A serving heart comes easily and is a gift to some, but that is not an excuse for others. We are to practice service to others as Christ served us.

Tim is traveling a bit and so he left these verses (Philippians 2:12-16) on the fridge as a reminder for this little experiment.

philippians 2:12

Parenting is tough stuff! Hope this gives you encouragement and provides you inspiration!
P.S. By the way, I started the jars with 30 black beans each....


The Pughs said...

this is great! my boys aren't quite old enough yet but i want to store this for future use! i am going to share with my sister who has older childres. what a great way to show the Lord's love while teaching them.

andi said...

Love it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails