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March 11, 2022 5:00 am
I'm John Fuller and today on Focus on the Family will explore a common and often unexpected challenge that parents face when your children refuse to work or help around the house, you can relate to this conversation that focus. President Jim Daly had with mommy blogger K-1 where you have an eight-year-old son and I love something that he said it was about making his bed. I believe that what's your job that's your job and another friend, his child, and she said you need to do the dishes to display wet to the dishes.
I never ceased to think I cleaned them and put them in the dishwasher and he looked at her and who needless to say the dishes back. You mentioned little boy John that's a classic example of youth entitlement where assumptions develop this mindset that they can do or have whatever they want without any limitation or responsibility on their part.
I know it sounds crazy, but in some concentric families. Parents are actually enabling their children to behave this way and I get it. Sometimes were just too exhausted or too distracted to give our kids the responsibility that they truly need that you may think I can do the job so much faster without all the fuss.
If that becomes a pattern. What are you really teaching your kids, so I appreciate how Kay has very intentionally confronted the entitlement she observed in her own family. Several years ago. She wrote a book called cleaning house on mom's 12 month experiment to read her home of youth entitlement. Kay wanted her five kids who were ages 5 to 15 at the time to learn important life skills that would empower them to take care of themselves rather than expect mom and dad to do it yeah and she had a rather novel approach, starting with the basics like cleaning the room every day learning how to cook remodeling their own laundry, but then she kinda graduated then two more difficult things like looking for a job outside the home hosting a formal party and learning how to serve others. That's right, John and Kay wanted her kids to develop confidence and self-reliance where they weren't expecting other people to serve them in the good news is, the experiment worked.
So today we're going to share this story again so that more families like yours can benefit from Kay's insights and experiences and even learn from some of the setbacks she faced along the way.
If you'd like to learn more about Katie and her book cleaning house just up by your website. We've got the link in the show notes and Jim, here's how you begin a conversation with K-1 on today's episode of focus on Kate. Welcome back to Focus on the Family is always fun to be having me and we enjoy it when you're here. Where do you think this entitlement mentality comes from what what started it, is that Adam and Eve or did it come later. Wow, I think if you look at our country. Land entitlement really started in the 1940s when there was a very well-meaning pediatrician who put to the forefront the best way to raise to have your hummus with a child centric, okay. So it started making us the path for the kid instead of the kid for the past and it's just progressively gotten worse because with the United States.
The American dream.
We always thought the American dream was the opportunity to be able to come to this country do whatever you want and it since changed a little and has turned to the words your own and you deserve the dream and when it started to do that this issue of entitlement really began to seep then and it's a lot of well-meaning loving families that are are buying into this message from society that says you have got to prepare the path for your kid and not the kid for the path and and that's the kid is granted to thinking I didn't get I'm I deserve it. I these kinds of things and even consider the fact that they could do it themselves let's parlay this into the theme your book cleaning house of mom's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement you talk about work in the high end of this is a fun one.
So, now leaning in and Jean and I don't know about you and the John but I mean this is a constant thing besides saying please and thank you. This would be right the runner-up to that like it is getting her chores done around the house and I can say the boys are doing a much better job than when they were little younger, but it's a constant parenting thing. Getting the kids to participate to do well right and to understand the benefit of work yes and it's interesting the Wall Street Journal did an article not long ago talking about why kids need chores and actually it is proven that they are more successful adults. These kids have chores when their age 2 and three are more successful adults, which for me, I might sit there and got guys I can't go back south side.
Now that the truth is, you can start at any time, so it's not like peanut start by two or three and watch these families that had great opportunity to speak at different venues throughout the country and these parents and moms that are stepping and letting are two and three-year-olds do things that normally for safety reasons. You know they wouldn't be allowed to do because you can't cut the strawberries.
It involves a knife and yet what happens to a kid when they do that it's all this independence and self-confidence that you hope for them to have that we think that's coming on the other side of these quote successes. But when they do these things on that on their own way, you can't pay for that. It's unbelievable what it does to their confidence level. They will look at mountains and see them as opportunities rather than obstacles, and in fact is the American dream. Go back to the founding fathers and he was like you show me the furthest boundary I'm going there, it did not mean that the society has absolutely change because you can even go and find your child, your 14-year-old a job because of the regulations and the issues that come with insurance that you can't employ a 14-year-old, and it seems like such a disservice.
It's like that kid needs to be bagging groceries because you now at Mrs. McGillicuddy's can yell at him when he puts the milk on the grapes and and he might listen to her instead of the yapping me on the mother. Don't do it that way. How do we do that in this environment. Word safety conscious and regulation orientation of how do we get our children those opportunities to fail to put the milk on the grapes of the and the in a way that is no safe and controllable. Is it seeming like the opportunities to fail are getting fewer and far between, and that sounds kind of mean that it really isn't mean it and it's kind of informing them. By the way these past of the people that you see that are successful really is paved by failure mean if the kid likes that the Harry Potter series. For example, she was turned down hundreds of times not to or 300s and kept going back with the manuscript. Will someone look at it and we see the end of the day where it looks beautiful but the lights that we are looking at Thomas Edison failure failure failure failure failure failure failure and it works and so the failures so proceed the successes in it and it lets you know that you can get up and so what you do work together well and that's teaching tenacity. It really is your background you're coming from a different perspective because you were raised in a home and were well everyone I ran like you had a light right from the beginning, but that's not your story.
You learn the hard way. Well, sorry I was raised in as a different age. It really was a tiny bit different age where you had schools even that that were allowed to let kids failed at the education system these days doesn't allow failure even in Texas until you're in seventh grade.
You don't get a zero you get a 50 foot doing work in your home right and so my dad I grew up in a in a home that was comfortable right II really can't remember a day where where we didn't have a lovely meal.
We I'm just gonna say my first car might've had three letters that were German, so I was not hurting now. That said, my father instilled in us a good work ethic. We were working on Saturday mornings which were days if you went to school if you didn't produce your best was to go to do your best. You you know you don't/we do hard work you don't quit. My goodness he never let us quit I'll never forget being on a tennis court literally sick and he wouldn't. He was like he will finish that match. You can retire after that you will finish what you start and said that was groomed in to us and yes we were very comfortable. I married and missionary kid whose upbringing was very different than mine.
I might've been going to Neiman's getting my close and he was getting out of the mission box and so you bring these two worlds together and it's great that the core we both had families that were hard work you are honest your you know the morals that come behind this great thing to instill in our children that your effort is worth something in the way you have something to offer and that's the most exciting part about it. So talk on the one hand, about maybe the healthy and unhealthy parental instinct versus what you really try to do is ready the child for life and that you have to restrain yourself as a parent to let them struggle a bit and when they start whining and complaining. What do you do you go and do it or do you hold the line and say no little Johnny. You gotta do this now. I think it's a fine line. I really do and I think a lot of it has to do with the personality of your children.
I think also one thing and allowing your kids to inputting more on your kids plate and quite frankly even you think is the right thing to do will help you understand what that kids giftedness actually edits will be washable more.
Yes, and I find so interesting that I am up more often than not the problem. You know I the words yes you can you can do this you can do this by needing to hear as much as the kid is it's like yes they can. They can they can't get out of the way, they can do this because it's hard because you do love them so much and so it's this idea rather than hearing that them the way to best love your kid is to do things for them. First, consider the best. Love this individual that is in your home you are stupid over their life for such a brief period of time is to equip them put things in their backpack so they can do all these great things that you know that they can do so that they might know what to but the only way for them to notice to do and as ridiculous as the chores are in the home there so much involved in it. You now their friends are doing it so that right there is a step up.
I talked to so many moms whose college kids have have written them the note. Thank you so much for making me do this. Hard things at because nobody else was doing it. I didn't realize it because, and I think of even the beauty of our relationship with the Lord and how that place and he lets us do a lot of stuff that he could do himself a lot faster a lot easier much more efficiently and quite frankly do it right, but there must be some loving aspect and that of let me let you do it because you're going to realize what I prepared you in advance to do and somehow cool to watch that play out even in our homes with these very seemingly ridiculous things that actually play to a bigger and bigger picture to your self-professed messy vulnerability polite but creative creative message but you know how did you come to grips with this, especially if you should say you're not so good at this.
It's so funny because one and here comes your kids personalities. We have five we got it all and you know I have one that follows in my footsteps. It is so hard for me when I walked past her room to not go in and fix it. My the court or its bill.
Paul and I have to think now this is her space here that here's the rules that we've set into motion and it will have to layout universal example that one of the rules like well that it had for her at least once a week. Everything has to be picked up off the floor once a week. Yes, because if it was every day it's quiet does something to her. That's not good. Now her sister is totally opposite. She is so fastidious. Everything has a place.
Everything is organized and I look at them.
The one that has her stuff everywhere. Should a phenomenal artist and add there's something in it.
She's always got something going. I go in her room. There's creative fonts all over her room that that she's taken Post-it notes and put different things and says she's that way, my fastidious one could truly be.
She is set 15 years old today at 13, she could've run a company. I'm not joking and and that kinda goes back to your question, how do you get these kids a job my friend your friends know what's going on. Okay, so there was one who in their office they needed help during the summer, just clerical help.
The stuff that no one wants to do the CEO kid stepped right up and completely organize their office and and she was 13 years old and I don't have one of those I want one. I have to say I would not have known that about her. If I hadn't pulled away because I I think we are so quick to just assume that our kids are likely are and I mean why not because they're there. Part of you and and I don't really know anything different than me that to step back allows them to be who they are and I just really want to add.
It's not some prescriptive you do X plus A+ B equals C we had the different personalities were one or two it is harder for them. It is slower for them. It doesn't look the same for everyone else but they've tried it all. I keep telling John you know what a virus in particular knows how to do everything. It's all right. He knows he knows had to do it all. He has had cooking as I do his laundry. He knows how to do it very hard for him to do it really, really hard and so we back off of that one and only do the drops were needed because there's enough in his world, telling him that he can't do this enough so much stuff I don't want that message coming from home to so it's it really is. Know your kid teach them how to do the staff equip them they can do a lot more than you think they can for sure more than they think they can and you really have no idea what's on the other side of that.
Let's go back to the question those good enough for me when you have a trellis either capable, 12, 13, and their medicine. A lot of the accuracy cleaning the bathroom for example is that what everything is taken maybe the toilet you're going okay this has to get done and they don't like doing it, but like mopping they like, whatever.
How do you move them from the mediocrity to something that's a little better something that they they are able to do, like you said maybe not a trial that is unable to do that for whatever reason but you know this child is capable of it and they're just choosing not to do it how you move that 13-year-old guided 13 and 14 and you know they're not end and I think a big part of it is putting on these these non-listening ears sweet Jenny Capehart who I know you guys.
Now she's so sweet and she asked her one time how you do the staff and because they push back with the most ridiculous reasons I don't know how to cite I okay everyone here knows you know how to do what account I now NNN your thinking and I say repeatedly because as if repeating it actually makes it true. Your clues appear does not like as if on cue, and you think are we going to do this again and she said to me don't engage Duncan in the middle of that stuff say it and walk away and she's like I'm not saying not to love your child but I'm saying let that stuff bounce off and roll like Teflon like don't listen to it and just say yes you do, do it do it do and if it's not that depends on the kid you know you can throw and it is not done by this time.
Sorry you lose this privilege or whatever system you have in your house that it was. It rewards her consequences would mean something to them individually. There's your card and stay the course. You know, in a loving way there with their kids and these teenagers. God bless him was asking because I think the next obvious question is toughness because a lot of parents in the Christian community, particularly we don't see that as an attribute of fruit of the spirit be tough with your kids when they derive chores. She is not listed there, and so where do we find that ability is apparent to be a little tough on our kids.
That's what you're talking about.
I think it is. I think you have to throw paren there at end and because I think in this effort. It really could become about performance, which is something that we all would probably do best to avoid and so how do you make them go through these do these things in your home that you would like for them to do for their sake and bring alongside with that all the others for their sakes and there's one who certainly knows the heart and mind of each one of those children and it's like a lot of prayer goes into that. Where do I push where do I pull please let me not make it about performance because I could have it be about the clean bathroom what's going on in this day, why are they pushing back like this is a teenage whatever that is not all firing correctly and if it is give them a break. You are loved. When you know it's one of those fine lines you talk about story with your son pumping gas which I you know I thought about that the other two boys are capable there, but I rarely have them get out of the car so much faster than others things to talk about the story probably go through with what you think that this is embarrassing to hail many moms are generally magnanimous that morning was one of those you know how you have the classics where everything is going wrong and we couldn't find anything walking out of the house. I may not offend my close that morning and I could have been doing what I often do, possibly driving the carpal in my pajamas and then I got in the car and it's not like that.
Like the orange EE that had been on which you may not do that only do that decided it's how I mom lives on the edge you know how long can you go on really really well, yeah, we put the gas station and then I might get out of season. I can't get out of the car and pump the gas and I guess you can talk and by this point, you know he's complaining opening the door I bought the house and pump the gas before. Maybe I think at that point he had pump the gas play was accurate.
I know he is that you put the card and any player what we had to go through this exercise with me in my pajamas yelling out the crack in the window and by this time everyone began watching as I was a horrifying party opposed the primary site. Put the cart and stop traumatic experience for for literally everyone involved. I'm so glad I thought that when I might've seen on the evening news. You know they do have cameras at the end of the day. He did pump the gas. It's not that hard right, but the pushback, the pushback is almost always very does it ever end, and especially the first time or you don't. Especially for boys.
Not only that were the case, because the eye can't pump gas occurred every single time. Okay will will sort of dies and cycle you can't you do it, and now they fight with each other. You do not do you do it, but they do know they will have to know how to pump gas. It seems silly to even talk about it, but there are things how would they know how to do it if they hadn't done it before. What about doing errands you talk about that. The book is not the errands. This is in my mind that day going. What do they not know how to do what do I do that they could do and and so errands errands all the time. Were you living in a place that's close were more rural.
So you have a go to Sharon for its heart and we were not near grocery stores.
Yeah, it's like 15 miles Dell guy I drive to the grocery store and I kick him out of the car and they go do the shopping. I had to show them how to shop first and get my hands off the produce was hard for me to allow them to pick the prejudice you now because they were blown by brow absolutely and then we need them and everyone complains and that's the last time they do that maybe this allow you to stay in the car in your pajamas. John is really good at us for the Canary dressing how I like your kids join us tomorrow and focus on the bar so low that everyone is very happy they're not you can rewind down this program and we talked about her 12 month experiment to see the trail of tears that you're creating to not prepare the child for the path rather you're trying to prepare the path for the child, which is not what you want to do you talk about the in game your kids some of the you children are little older now right is the proof of the pudding to the work of those kids doing well. I think about that a lot.
I really did and I and I got is there proof in the pit because to me I'm always my mind will go on. There's always more. You should always be doing am I doing this right. If I do in there because those words right now. This kind of stuff and and I look at the kids and I think breeze did they do their SAT stuff themselves. Yes they do. They do all of their homework and sound. Even now I don't know how to log onto the school system because I'd I never look we have online grading systems in Texas where you have passcodes where your where you literally could know all day, every single day everything that your child is done every every assignment and I don't I don't know the password. And so in my head I go yes there is something good about that and my kids are more prone to even talk to their advisor on their own without me. I had a daughter going through some really tough stuff the other day and you know what she did and it was tough she had to drop a couple of classes she's in a small clot because it was too stressful and we were like this doesn't define you.
Let's figure out a way to make it work, and when she dropped it on her own.
She said to me, not everybody knows it's a small environment and I didn't want everybody talking about it without knowing exactly why did everything so on her and she went every person said this is why drop these classes is what I'm struggling with – and then she went to the professors I sent you and now it wasn't you. Please don't be disappointed in me and and what happened on the other side of this is this freedom of relationship with all these people going to cheat the world. Never have thought to talk to do that in my and it was like it so far exceeded anything that I would've hoped for achieved turnaround. If she wasn't navigating her own road. We had to help her navigate some of the very difficult staff, especially as a teenager to be able to grasp with which we did. We went in and helped and then we went out and in the backing out.
She soaring and and I look at that deep emotional relationship related things and she's 16 and I think I never would've thought you would've learned any of that until you are in your 30s sweetheart okay. One author of the book cleaning house mom's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement started the conversation and if you need help. That's why Focus on the Family is here will provide resources and tools to improve your parenting skills, which I think all of us in the job and the care it's been great having your site. Thank you so much.
It's a blast. John, I'd like to make Kay's book available to our listeners and if you can send a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family will say thank you by sending a copy of cleaning house right out to you and we appreciate your financial partnership with us, you provide the fuel we need to help strengthen marriages equip parents save pre-born babies and so much more. So please be generous with your support of Focus on the Family today give us a call our number is 800 232-645-9800 the letter a in the word family or donate and request Kay's book details are in the show notes. Let me mention we also have a free online parenting assessment that you can take is really easy way for moms and dads to get a quick overview of what's working well where you're really excelling and maybe some areas that need improvement.
I urge you to check that out in the episode will be of a great weekend with your family and with your church family as well and then please join us again on Monday will hear a fascinating conversation with Greg Koegel about how to have a solid Christian worldview because for a lot of Christians there. Their stories a picture of reality is like a puzzle that's in a pile of pieces they never put it together before and this is what the story of reality is about to do. Put it together in a sequential form so we can see the big picture in behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ