16. Teach children to complete their chores. As a follow-up to teaching children to work, we want to emphasize teaching them to finish the job. This became an important issue at our house because Rhonda and I recognized how our own personalities sometimes interfered with that effort. Rhonda is an artist and an idea machine. As such, she easily moves to the next big idea before the previous endeavor is complete. It is not a laziness issue, but just the opposite. It is driven by a love to tackle the next big thing.
As for me, I have an uncanny knack for completing jobs to the 80% level. I mow the yard, but don’t quite get to the edging. I do the hand dishes, but always leave a dish or two soaking in the dishwater. I clean and organize the garage, and inevitably leave a corner of junk I can’t quite decide what to do with. The scary part that has Rhonda rolling her eyes is how much I credit myself for making a “dent” in the work load when the job is half done. I also like to talk about what I am going to accomplish much more than actually doing it. Do our kids have any hope of finishing the job?
Yes, they do; because we have recognized the inherent challenges in our make up and have worked hard to overcome them. One of the things we learned early on was to give our kids jobs that are age-appropriate. That is, jobs they can complete and complete well. It started with simple “helping Mommy” jobs when they were young and progressed through the typical childhood chores and high school jobs. In addition, we used verses from the book of Proverbs to encourage diligence in finishing the job. The affirming part of this instruction is the satisfaction our children enjoy when they complete the task at hand; and the great asset it becomes for their adult lives in regard to marriage, careers, and faithful service!