"So then every one of us shall give account
of himself to God."
Back in January, I introduced the concept of character traits (read that post here) and how I was starting to incorporate them into Dallas' daily routine. So far this year we have addressed obedience (1 Corinthians 14:40), punctuality (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and gratefulness (1 Corinthians 4:7). Dallas is very observant of his surroundings and recognizes how others behave and treat one another. Unfortunately, everyone walking the mall or even attending church isn't the best of an example for the young man he needs to be. I think it is very important for parents to instill the traits they see fit in their children- it starts at home.
We are starting the month of May off with responsibility (vs. unreliability). The definition given for responsibility: Knowing and doing what God and others are expecting me to do. During the school year, Dallas would leave the house at 7:00 am and be picked up at 12:00. So, we started small with acting on the question "how can you show responsibility?" Dallas got the concept right away, "I can make my bed and help my Daddy." His chores/responsibilities in the beginning were making his bed, brushing his teeth, helping with the laundry, and setting the table. I had bought him a magnet board from a yard sale. I lined his "chores/responsibilities" up on one side, and he was responsible for placing a smiley face magnet when he completed a task for the day. On Monday, we would count the smileys and he would get a penny for every task he remembered to mark. This gave him the opportunity to earn 50¢ a week! He was proud of the money he earned. Now that school is out,, he doesn't have homework, school functions, or as much time spent away from home. This means more chores! Unfortunately, Dallas wasn't as excited about this as I was. I was only going to add two things to his chart: collect the garbage and feed our pets. After doing one chore, at 7:00 am Dallas decided that he was done for the day, "I'm soooo tired of doing chores..." I let him follow me around, helping with Mommy's chores to see which list of responsibilities he enjoyed more. Suddenly, doing the garbage and feeding the pets wasn't too much trouble for him. Imagine that! Now, my "Bible story" know it all son just had to know where in the Bible it said that we had to do chores. I asked him to tell me the story of Adam in the Garden from Genesis. He still didn't see a connection. So, I read him Genesis 2:15
"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it."
Instead of pruning trees, we have toilets to clean!
We have also been talking about the responsibility we have to keep our bodies well. I am teaching him young that taking vitamins, brushing our teeth, and exercising are good daily habits. He really likes the exercise part! For now, I am letting him "make up" exercises, but watch to make sure he is not doing something that could be hurtful. Here, he is learning how to do a proper push-up. He could use a little more practice...
I don't know if this has ever happened to anyone else, but I will be driving down the road and hear, "I'm thirsty. I have to go to the bathroom. I don't have my Cubbies bag for church." Or, my favorite moment: as we were pulling up to a portrait studio for family pictures, "I only have one shoe." As a mom of two, almost three, it gets hard for me to remember the responsibility I have to pack everything and address everyone's needs before we leave the house. Therefore, I am passing the stick to Dallas. He is responsible for a tidy appearance and two of the same shoes before he leaves the house. Any drink or snack he needs for the car ride is also his responsibility.
I know it may seem from this one isolated post that all Dallas does is work all day, but I can assure you that he addresses his responsibilities as soon as his feet hit the floor of a morning to head outside and ride his bike or "save the worms". But I am pretty certain that his favorite part of learning responsibility is reaping the benefits.
Buying a "Captain America" costume with his responsibility money he earned.