Sunday, I told my 8 year- old- son to "stop whining and act like a man". Perhaps not my finest mom moment, and yet, the world kept spinning.
These pearls of wisdom dropped from my thinly-pressed lips after a long morning periodically dealing with/and or soothing the son of my heart who- we are not sure why, but we suspect large doses of multi-media the night before might have something to do with it- turned into a complaining/weepy/clingy/pouty/affection-demanding/flesh-wound-proclaiming, baby.
It was actually, a hard thing for me to say- so very opposite of this deep-seated need in me to comfort and soothe...and yet, in the middle of our 2 hour Sunday School class that Sky and I were supposed to be teaching- I laid down the law, because I did not know what else to do with him.
I can't report a miraculous happy ending in a parenting-zen sort of way. He actually sat; teary-eyed in self pity, and then, upon being mercilessly teased by an older boy, oozed into a big, crying heap. Sky took him somewhere and did some sort of magic to end it all. I asked him what he did.
Sky: "I told him to take it like a man..." Sounded familiar, but it worked better somehow for him.
Later that night, Sky and I talked over the events of the morning and tried to work out a plan on how to point our son towards manhood. It basically involved lots of manual labor. One of the complaints Demi was moaning about was a vague hurt in his hand, then his head, then his leg...Sky decided he would introduce him to the concept of callouses on the hands due to hard work as a real-life contrast.
I stumbled upon this post, Love hurts. Are we raising generation why-me? Sort of timely in light of Sunday... So, how do we raise a boy to be manly, dependable, a hard worker, kind, responsible? This is our first attempt at man- making...how do we go about it?
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you. But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" -Micah 6:8
I think what we need, really- is a farm. But, we don't have one. We are thinking out right now, how to add more chores and responsibilities to our boy's life- not just busy work, but work that contributes to the smooth running of the family. Work that makes a boy feel needed and important to the family, work that he can take honest pride in completing.
I'll let you know what we come up with.
The thought that has held me back in the past, -from posting on the fridge a heaping list of chores for all my kids- is the fear that someone, even one of my children, will accuse me of having many kids for the cheap labor. Laughable, really, when you think it out- I could have had no kids, or stopped at one kid and simply hired a housecleaner with the extra money I wouldn't be spending on my four kids... I hate to be judged quickly and unfairly, though.
It's not the end product of a clean house; it's the end product of God-loving,responsible, hard-working, cheerful, happy children that I am looking for.
What are your thoughts on raising responsible kids, hard work, chores, having everything given to you, the school of hard knocks vs. gifts of love?
More thoughts coming, but this post is already too long...