Through Headgates and a variety of other articles and inspiration I know that it is vital for my children to learn to work hard. I have even blogged about it here when I discussed Elder Christofferson's October
We require work because our children need to learn to do hard things. They must learn to figure out how they will handle insurmountable tasks. They will need these vital skills to have a world class scholar phase (which will look differently for every youth) and so they can find success in life.
I think we agree we can all agree on that point. Reviewing Headgates and listening to Elder Christofferson's recent talk about receiving divine correction have brought it back to my face that I need to do better with this. We are working, we are cleaning, but I feel strongly that something is amiss. I see several problems.
- We will run out of things to clean.
- My children will find it ridiculous to clean "clean" things.
- I am lazy. (I should move this to spot number one).
- I don't think that cleaning a toilet is teaching them hard things. It's teaching them that sometimes you don't get to do things you want to do which is a vital lesson, but it's not teaching them how to handle "insurmountable tasks."
- Seasonal projects like gardening or snow shoveling really are still not teaching them how to handle hard things. Again the vital lesson of your day can't be spent doing everything you want to do is being learned though.
- Did I mention I am lazy?
So here I am in a quandary. I absolutely believe this is a true principle-my children must work-but I am left with needing to find some different application. (Also because I have more boys than girls). For our family working in the mornings is right for our ebb and flow in life. I have always been naturally a work hard girl in the morning and then have a more relaxed afternoon. What to do about this hard work thing?
I've been praying about this. I appreciated Elder Bednar's talk about remembering that revelation comes line upon line. As I study, ponder, pray and discuss I am finding ideas and these ideas are building on each other. My thoughts have led me to consider all sorts of things. Some of those things have included piano lessons, requiring math, and physical fitness programs. Of course whatever I choose would still include cleaning, gardening, working outside, sewing, service, etc., but I need to throw some things in there that are hard.
I realize I could cause some of them to grow up hating piano or math, but I don't really care if they learn to do hard things. Meaning an ability to work hard through difficult times/projects is more important than if they like the piano and decide to play the piano as an adult. It's a tool.
If I did decide to require, let's say piano lessons, this would necessitate that I have to be there, side by side with them, reminding them and helping them practice. This is where I, in my present state, would fade long term. I recently listened to this 'conversation' with Sister Beck. She required her children to take piano lessons because they did not live on a farm or own a milk cow and she needed something to teach them how to work. They hated it! One daughter said it wasn't until she was 16 that she decided she liked piano. For ten years Sister Beck dragged her to piano lessons. At one point, I'm not clear for how long, they were required to practice for three hours a day! Kudos to Sister Beck is all I can say about that! If you have a chance I encourage to listen to the interview if you are thinking about these things. There are also other interesting things discussed.
So I don't have any answers yet. I am applying myself, line upon line, searching for my answer. I see a need in my children and I don't believe that I am currently meeting that need. I'll let you know when I figure it out.
So now my friends: What thoughts do you have to these questions?
- What are your thoughts about children needing to do hard things?
- What work/things do you require in your home? (Math, soccer, piano, etc).
- Any other comments would be great.