I step over a toy on the stairs, my hands too full of other stuff and a baby to pick it up this time, next time and 3 days later. I know I’m not the only one stepping purposefully over it as I walk up and down the stairs. I glare at it as I walk by. Does no one else see this? Are they waiting for me to pick it up?
Whose job is it anyway?
Obviously, my kids don’t think it’s their job. My husband maybe doesn’t either… or like me always has his hands too full to pick it up.
Either way, I wonder how many times someone—everyone— has walked by this toy on the stairs?
Someone is going to run down those stairs in a hurry and not see the toy and trip and fall because of it and it will be all my fault. Except it’s not all my fault.
So whose job is it?
The kids’ job, of course.
Whose job is it to teach the kids to pick up after themselves? Who job is it to inspire and instruct them to clean and work around the house?
I find great wisdom in the words of Elder L. Tom Perry on the roles of a father:
“Fathers teach sons and daughters the value of work and help them establish worthy goals in their own lives.” Oct 2014
When Elder Perry said those words my soul cried out, “That is why all my effort wasn’t making a difference!”
There is no better place to practice this principle during the early years than in the home caring for their home and their stuff.
When this type of learning is directed by their father it is powerful and the kids feel it and show greater accountability. I don’t nag as much and don’t feel so alone in the monumental task of teaching the kids to clean and care for the home and all that is in it.
A question for the fathers: What effective ways have you applied this principle with your family? Please share in the comments and inspire other fathers!