Michael and Nicholas
Michael and Nicholas

There’s an old saying:

If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.

We wish for what we could have if we would work for it. Don’t envy–period! But do not envy what someone has that they have worked for—a relationship with God or anyone else that has depth to it, a healthy body, a nice lawn, an orderly home, well cared for children—the list goes on and on. Instead of wishing for, of envying, what someone has, why not define it and work toward it?

Today, I am talking about getting our children to pick up after themselves. New habits do not occur in a vacuum. New habits are intentional. If we want our children to pick up after themselves what can we do?

  1. Set the example yourself. Do not expect others to do what you do not do yourself. Before even speaking of it with your children, begin to pick up after yourself.
    • Make your bed.
    • Put away your clothes and shoes after you have worn them.
    • Put away your toiletries in the bathroom after you have used them.
    • Put dishes directly into the dishwasher.
    • Put trash directly into the trash can.
    • Clean up after you finish any project, even if it is only for the day.
    • Pick it up, don’t pass it up. ~ Pam Young and Peggy Jones, Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise.
  2. Then firmly, lovingly, gently teach—over and over and over again—until the habit becomes their own.
  3. When working with your children, don’t direct from the other side of the room. Get up. Go to them and show them. The earlier in their lives you begin to teach them how to help, how to work, the easier it will be for you and for them.
  4. Teach yourself and your children to stay focused on a task for 15 to 30 minutes, take a break, come back refreshed and attack the task again. The returning to the task is the important part. Stay with it until it is done.

You are your child’s first (and hopefully best) teacher. Your example and the way you set that example is constantly teaching them. Be the best person you can be for and in front of your children. Teach them integrity, diligence, kindness, loyalty, faithfulness, joy, satisfaction, courtesy, and a host of other virtues that are disappearing from our culture. These virtues are disappearing because we are not teaching them.

Live your faith before them. Faith isn’t really just a private thing. Our faith in God is the motivator for all that is good in life. Relationship with the Lord is the transformer in any life.

Remember, when you fail, and we all do, that failure is only permanent when you quit. Get up. Apologize when it is due. Keep going.

Love and Hugs,



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