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Blog » Tadpole Tails

Teaching kids responsibility

May 01, 2014 - General - Posted by Dan Huffman

Sometimes I feel like my main responsibility at home is to walk the dog, turn off the lights and flush the toilets. Sadly, I do each of those things daily. I’m sure there are things you do as a parent even though they are not your primary responsibility. During the month of May, my children’s ministry will be focused on the environment of Responsibility which tells us that, “God has entrusted me with the things and people he created around me.” There have been times when I have felt like a complete failure in this area. I grew up in a poor family and at a young age needed to take on lots of responsibility for my many younger brothers and sisters. This gave me a strong work ethic and passion to succeed. I simply did not want to struggle in life like I did as a child. But I often wonder, in my desire to be responsible and work hard, have I neglected to teach my own children to do the same.

Have you ever felt like you do too much for your kids? Shouldn’t they be learning to take responsibility for themselves? During a day of defeat, I wrote out a document called, “10 Ways to Live According to God’s Word”. Like Moses, I walked down the carpeted stairs with my 10 Commandments nicely framed and gift wrapped. I sat my three children down and presented them with their gift. I shared from the bottom of my heart that I wanted them to succeed in life. Their response was a nice thank you for the frame. My children have grown and my oldest is a freshmen in college. I drove him back to school after Easter break and wanted to stop in and see his dorm. I knew what a disaster area his room at home was and was curious what I would find. I was shocked to find an orderly room and wondered if it really belonged to him. As my eyes searched the room for things that I would recognize as his, I saw the frame. He had placed my Top 10 List on his desk sitting neatly on a doily – just kidding there was no doily. If you are curious about what this list says, I placed it on www.chapel.org/parentresources

I’m not sure where you are in your parenting adventure. Have you seen glimpses that your kids are growing in the area of responsibility? If not, don’t be discouraged. Keep modeling responsibility yourself. At the end of the day, the goal is for all of us to hear the words written down in Matthew 25:21, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

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