ALL the Way
Joey and Carla Link
Have you given your kids an instruction and they only do part of it? You ask your 3 year old to put his dirty clothes away. He knew you meant in the laundry basket in his closet, but you found them on the floor next to the basket instead. Your 7 year old wants to go outside and play, but knows she has to pick up her room first. She put the books on the shelf where they belonged and put her dirty clothes in the basket, but pushed everything else under her bed. You gave your 10 year old the job of putting the laundry away, but he didn’t put the laundry baskets back in the laundry room where they belonged. Why do kids only do things part way?
Proverbs 3:6 says, “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” The key is in “all your ways” Just as it’s easy for us to trust God in most areas, when we don’t trust Him in ALL areas, we get into trouble and He can’t direct our paths in the way He wants us to go.
When you are training your kids to do a job, go back and check to see that it was done properly AND 100% completely like you have instructed them to do it. IF you let them get away with not doing ALL of it, then when it comes to other instructions you expect them to follow, they will begin to think they don’t need to do ALL of it either.
For instance when you teach them to treat their friends with kindness in words and actions, yet you let your kids speak badly to their siblings, how do you think they will eventually treat a spouse one day?
Are your kids deceitful? Do they tell you half-truths? When they don’t do their chores or schoolwork completely and they get away with it, they are learning it is okay to do all things part way. It all goes back to Proverbs 3:6, “In ALL your ways,” not just part of your kids’ ways.
I remember when I (Joey) was teaching our son to mow the lawn one summer he had missed a narrow strip in the middle of the lawn one of the first times he mowed. I pointed it out and he said he would get it next time. I quickly realized to let that go would be teaching him he doesn’t have to do what he is told to do “all the way” so why would he do what God asks him to do “all the way?”
We want to encourage you to watch your kids for a few days and really check up on them. See if they do the instructions and responsibilities you give them ALL the way or leave just a little bit undone or not done correctly.
Being a consistent parent is exactly what we address in our new Mom’s Notes “Fighting the Consistency Battle”. It has 10 characteristics of inconsistent parents and 7 characteristics of WHY parents are consistent. It’s available at parentingmadepractical.com