Benefits of Letting Kids Live and Learn
Teaching responsibility is not for the faint of heart, however it is SO worth the effort when we keep at it. Jessica reminds us of ways we can do this hard yet very rewarding work as parents.
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” …“Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luke 12: 40, 42-44
In the summers here at camp, we hire the most incredibly qualified high school and college students to protect, provide and care for parents’ most prized possessions. We ask them to consider the needs of campers before their own. We trust they will make sure their campers do things like stay hydrated and use sunscreen. Even greater, we watch them love and display Christ’s love as they lead their campers toward the Savior.
Being a Coach at T Bar M Camps requires an INCREDIBLE AMOUNT of responsibility, and as we interview and get to know these guys and gals we ask God to reveal to us if they will be able to handle what is required. I’ve come to have great deal of respect for our Coaches’ parents in this process. Their parents had to work hard to train and instill responsibility in these skills from an early age.
Here are some ways responsibility can be taught to your kids:
- Give responsibility. When you entrust your kids with a task, you instill confidence. Your belief in their ability becomes a truth they believe. Whether homework, chores or a commitment they made, when you hold your kids to a high standard, they will believe they can meet it because you said so. By giving your kids responsibility, you’re training up mature responsible adults who won’t consider breaking a commitment, incompletion or mediocrity an option.
- Give accountability. When responsibility is given, your kids must be held accountable. Jesus taught this in the above mentioned parable (Luke 12:35-48). Even the prophet Jeremiah expressed the importance of consequence in Lamentations 3:27, “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” Because we’re human we will fall short. Sometimes the greatest thing you can do for your children in their development toward responsibility is allow them to feel the weight of their failure. Giving consequences to your kids when they don’t complete their chores will prepare them for real life circumstances. It will help them to take risks and be less afraid of failure. Consequences can even teach your kids about sin and their need for the Savior.
- Exemplify responsibility. Finally, be an example of responsibility to your kids. Take your commitments seriously. When you agree to something in the home or outside, let your kids watch you follow through. In your own life don’t let incompletion or mediocrity be an option. Your kids are watching and learning what they will believe is true and right from your behavior.
I am so grateful for the young adults I know who have been taught how to be responsible and that there is so much grace when they fail. Here at camp, we call them Coaches.
- What are some chores or responsibilities you do on a regular basis?
- How have you seen your parents display responsibility?
- Why do you think it’s important to Jesus that you’re responsible?