I am blessed to have three wonderfully amazing sons. My boys! I truly don’t know what I did to deserve such great kids. They are a living example of God’s grace and favor over me. However, I have done all that is necessary to screw them up. If must confess to you a Mom Fail.
This morning my husband and I were discussing our first born. He will be 16 in a mere 28 sleeps. And unfortunately, we have done a poor job preparing him for the future and for his real life.
We are by no means a wealthy family, but we have always made sure our kids have everything they need, and most everything they want. And now I look up into the eyes of this young man and know that he has no work ethic, no follow through, and no money or time management skills because of the decisions his dad and I have made. We have failed to equip him to be an adult.
I can promise you we absolutely never intended for this to happen. We thought we were providing for him. We loved giving him all that we could. And he is a grateful child. He never expects from us, which makes it all the more easy to just give to him.
Let me tell you about him. He is loves and is very protective of his family. He loves the Lord. He plays with his seven year old brother with out being asked. He never gets in trouble at school (unless he doesn’t do his Algebra homework). He is polite. He is helpful. He has dyslexia, ADD, anxiety, and Juvenile Arthritis and still has an A-B average in school and is on swim team. He is at church every Sunday leading Kindergarten and 1st graders in worship and teaching their small groups. And he wants to be a youth pastor when he grows up.
We want to see all his dreams come true! And there in lies the challenge. How do we help him develop the character traits and skills it takes to succeed in the less than three years we have left with him under our roof?
You see, in addition to all those wonderful things about him are things that will hold him back. He likes to come home after school and put his feet up and watch videos and play games till dinner. Then he will return to the videos and games until its time to shower and go to bed. He will help around the house, but has to be asked to. And when the task takes longer than five minutes he has an excuse and disappears. He does well in school, but is ok with just scooting by and doing things at the last minute.
But what is going to happen when we aren’t there? Will his room ever get cleaned if no one is there to ask him to clean it? Will the dish washer ever get unloaded or reloaded? Will his laundry ever get done? Will he do his homework if no one is there to ask if he has done it? Will he go to work when he is “so tired” or will he call in sick? And money… we just have to leave that subject for another post.
We know things have to change, for the future that he deserves to happen. But how do you instill the desire to “push” yourself in someone? My second son has it. He was raised in the same house by the same parents and is so very different.
So, now that we are willing to admit we have created a problem, what are we going to do to fix it you ask? Well, we are addressing each of our concerns and giving him assignments to help him work on changing those habits that need to be fixed.
To help with work ethic and follow through, we have given him assignments that he will work all the way thorough, that in the end he will have new skills that he can take to the workplace. To help time management and scheduling, we have put due dates on when we want to see progress in these new skills. We are working with him on several different assignments regarding money management. That’s a biggie that I still haven’t fully mastered!
The follow through on our end is going to be a big part of his success. We have to help him see the next few years of school, mastering these new skills and maintaining is involvement in activities as his job. And we have to do our job in managing him.
This parenting thing isn’t easy. And even if you are raising good people, there are still a lot of characteristics that they need to be productive, good people.