This article is taken from the Raising Godly Tomatoes website, written by L. Elizabeth Krueger. It is not part of the book. You can find the full article here. Here is what she says about involving the children in your day. That way they won’t have time to think about being bored (see yesterday’s post).
By laurelbethyw on Flickr
Rather than trying to keep my children entertained all day, I believe that I should be training them on a minute-by-minute basis toward the goal of becoming godly adults. What better way than to include them as much as is possible in whatever I am doing, so they will learn to live as I do? I try to find ways so that even the little ones can help me, but it is also good for them to learn to just watch and listen, as well.
Sewing is a good example. I often sew or type with a baby on my lap and a toddler playing with my button box on the floor next to me. Slightly older children can help by cutting out patterns or they can play with my scraps. At eleven years old, my daughter could do much of the actual sewing and ironing, and we would be able to finish a dress in half the time by working as a team. It was also a lot more fun than trying to give her a “sewing lesson”. We just treat sewing like any other chore we need to get done, and we try to enjoy all our chores.
I try to treat everything else similarly. As I go about my day, I try to especially include the younger children in the things I am doing. If I’m in the kitchen, I will call the six year old to unload the dishwasher and the eight year old to help with the actual cooking and clean up. The two and three year olds climb up on the stools at the counter and watch (I never have to call them). They love to lick bowls and munch on scraps of things I am making.
Same thing when I’m working in the yard. I might give the younger ones a garden tool to dig with, or I’ll set them to work collecting the weeds I’m pulling, and throwing them out for me. Of course there’s always lots the older ones can do.
Dad does the same thing. He includes the children in his office work by giving them any job they can handle, often with the older ones teaching the younger. All except the babies are taught to run the fax machine, make copies on the copier, work the computers and calculators, type, file, etc. ( Our oldest, Shane, at thirteen, handled all the computer support work for our in-home office as well as our out-of-home, five-person business office.) This is all done informally by simply including them in Dad’s work. The children take turns accompanying Dad to business meetings whenever possible. If Dad is not home all day, as is the case in most families, he can include them in what he does when he is home; mowing the lawn, taking care of the car, fixing things, handling the family finances, etc. In everything we do, it is an opportunity to teach godliness to our children.
BEWARE of doing all the work yourselves and letting your kids play all day so they can “enjoy their childhood.” This will only result in a adult who is self-centered and lazy, and has a “the world owes me a living” attitude. When people hear the term “spoiled” in regard to a child, they often laugh and think of it as a temporary thing that can be sort of cute at times. Nothing could be more backward. When I used to own and ride horses, I often heard the term “spoiled” in regard to a particular type of animal. In the horse world, this was never cute. A spoiled horse was one whom BAD TRAINING HAD RUINED PERMANENTLY!
Deuteronomy 6:7 - “And you shall teach them (God’s laws) diligently to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”