photo credit: Joel Abroad
In the perpetual effort to have a presentable house where multiple young children live and grow, an idea finally came to me that people will treat themselves and their surroundings in a way that reflects how they view them. If children view themselves as carefree and without responsibility they will take no responsibility. If they view parents as having the primary purpose of serving kids they will treat parents as servants. If they view their home as little more than a shelter from the wind and rain they will treat home like a cave.
On the other hand, if kids view themselves as someone special with important responsibilities and a grand destiny, like princes and princesses, they are more likely to look beyond the desires of this very instant and plan to meet the destiny they envision. If they see parents as important role models they are more likely to emulate them rather than make demands on them. If they see home as a sanctuary, rather than a shelter they are more likely to treat it with some respect and care.
With that thought in mind we have begun to emphasize to our children their identity as children of a heavenly king in hopes that they will think of themselves as more than merely bipedal hominids. We are also asking them to think of and treat their home as a castle such as children of a king might live in. Personally I’d like them to treat home as a temple but I fear that high standard might be discouraging rather than ennobling.
It’s too soon to be sure how much long term effect this will have on the kids but for myself I know that this mindset helps me not to give in to the temptation to allow my expectations to slip when things start to pile up around us.