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Momma's Rules

By Joyce C. Lock

Our Daily Chores

When one has a larger family (in order to keep peace, harmony, and sanity), structure and self-discipline become almost mandatory for all parties therein. In addition, having come from an abusive past, dissention of any kind threw mom into a tailspin. Perhaps as a result, she was always teaching about what love is and anything less was never going to be acceptable. Though, her plan of defense accomplished multiple purposes at the same time; keeping both house and home together for however the Lord might call upon our family next.

And being that mom also had the gift of teaching, one always knew there was purpose and benefit in her rules. The lessons that constituted our daily chores went something like this ...

People tend to be polite, not only to others they do not like but even to those that actually make them angry. They'll even work at it, as to how to remove themselves from a situation in which they really feel like exploding. And, most generally, that is considered to be a good thing, to maintain one's composure amidst adversity. However, they tend to take those bottled up frustrations home with them, then take it out on ones they love the most; which makes no sense. Why would you work harder toward giving a right response to people you don't even care about than you do when upset with those you love? And, why would you want to keep hurting the people you really love and need?

Family is to stick together, to love each other, and to be there for each other. When you make family your enemy, you will always eventually lose. Besides, you may need them to be there for you, some day.

It is never ever ok to hurt the people you love. Acts of unkindness would be responded to with penalty and fighting met with even further resistance; no exceptions.

1.) Part of being a valuable member to society is to take responsibility for your own actions, instead of leaving whatever mistake or mess you make for others to have to deal with. And, not only is it not very loving to expect mom to be your maid but, in the real world, there will be no one to fix your messes or mistakes.

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So, a good place to begin learning accountability is this ... if you make a mess, it is yours to clean up. In fact, this doesn't even count as a chore. This is your responsibility as a person, in addition to chores.

2.) Laziness is an ugly spirit, void of love; exemplary of one's lack of wanting to be a participant of the whole. Not only is it unkind and sometimes hurtful to neglect at other's expense, but it is also dirty, unsanitary, and thoughtless of anyone besides themselves. Therefore, it will not be tolerated.

Every child is to have one age appropriate chore assignment per day, at least week days (whether that assignment includes more than one chore or not); excluding the kitchen.

Then, if an additional family project is needed, it might be taken up on a weekend (everyone pitching in); wherein mom made working together fun and the job got done faster, too.

Being a part of a family is not something you can opt out of, just because you don't feel like it. Parents don't even get to take a day off from being a parent when they're sick. So, a child's lack of initiative is not be a viable excuse. If said chore is not done on the given day, unless otherwise pardoned, that child could be gotten out of bed at mid-night, if need be, to get it done.

Note: the daily chore should be lighter provided item #3 is also implemented.

3.) Learning to work as a team is a necessary tool for life.

Upon age of ability to learn, every child would have a part in the preparation of meals and or clean up of the kitchen; without complaint.

Those who participate in the preparation of a given family meal may or may not be excused from cleanup, depending upon fairness and necessity.

Children may have the option of choosing their particular kitchen chore(s), provided that works toward the benefit of the whole; final decision is up to adult(s), which decision may or may not alter daily and may also depend upon an individual child's need to learn a new task.

No one is excused from kitchen detail, unless otherwise pardoned, until the entire project is complete. Therefore, it is to the benefit of the whole to help each other toward completing needed tasks. And, it goes much more smoothly when everyone makes up their mind to get along.

4.) If children have such excessive penned up energy but what they can't seem to stop picking on each other or a general running off of the mouth which seems to be controlling them, these precious angels must have a serious physical problem they need our help with.

Therefore, except a stronger response is deemed necessary, each and every verbal and physical unkindness will be met with an additional chore that is to commence being accomplished from the moment so assigned. Of course, this law of consequences is only offered as a means to help them work off some of that penned up energy.

In such event, the first chore is to be minute. Then, if the behavioral issue is not immediately resolved, kindly let them know they can complete another chore when they get that one done. This procedure is to be continued, slightly increasing the degree of pressure, with each offense, until a task can be completed (from start to finish) without sounding off or otherwise having acted out.

The remarkable thing is that most children catch on really fast. And, you thought it couldn't be done.

© Joyce C. Lock
Joyce C. Lock is most known on the web for her long time involvement in numerous groups and e-mail ministries. She is a published author, poet, and columnist whose latest adventures include her new website Glimpses of God (unveiling mysteries via scriptural methods of Bible study) while offering a free online copy of her new book, Prisoners of Hope, to those joining to receive website updates. Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.


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