My kids were the fifth generation of my family to call our farm ‘home’. Our house was old, it had its share of creaks and squeaks, but it was that homey kind of comfortable and full of character that proudly displayed its age—including its original hardwood floors and lack of closet space. So what does this have to do with being a better parent? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
When I asked my children what life-lessons they’d learned from me, one of my daughters said she’d (finally) learned why keeping a clean house was so important. I actually laughed out-loud when I read this because I cannot even begin to count the times I got made fun of by John and the kids for dust mopping the floors a few times a day and being the mom that, at the end of the day, had a place for everything and everything in its place.
Hey, when you farm and have kids running in and out of the house all day stuff just naturally gets tracked inside and I’m still not apologizing for wanting to be able to walk around the house on clean floors. So when they made fun of me and gave me a hard time I told them they’d really have something to complain about it I didn’t keep the floors clean, and then kept right on dusting.
And with all the toys, books, and ‘stuff’ that goes along with having four kids, the house would have been in a constant state of chaos—which is something I didn’t want to deal with and something I didn’t want John and the kids to have to deal with, either.
I knew that by keeping the house neat and clean I was doing a lot more than just keeping things neat and clean. I knew I was…
· Giving my family a place where they could rest comfortably
· Giving my family a soft and safe place to ‘land’ after being confronted by the chaos of work, school, and the world in general
· Teaching my kids to take pride (the good kind) in themselves and their surroundings because it is a reflection of who they are on the inside
· Teaching my kids to respect what it took for John to provide for us and respect for my role as a homemaker
· Teaching my kids to respect personal property
· Teaching my kids to be responsible
· Teaching my kids to be respectful of the rights and feelings of others
· Teaching my kids to be cooperative and to be team-players
· Teaching my kids that being organized makes life less stressful (they never had to dig through piles of anything to find what they needed yesterday)
I knew what I was doing back then even though at the time they didn’t. And even though I’ve had to bite my tongue a few times to keep from saying “I told you so,” I can’t tell you how nice it is to know that after all these years and all that dusting and sweeping, and picking up and putting away, they finally get it.
Even though you may think what you say and do is going in one ear and out the other or flying right over the tops of their little heads, I can tell you for sure and for certain that your children are absorbing more than you think they are. So don’t give up. Keep on teaching those life-lessons by doing what you know is best and being the kind of person you want your kids to be and someday just like me you’ll be biting your tongue to keep from saying, “I told you so!”
Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.