Parenting Tip: Don't Let Structure and Order Order You Around!


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I really like structure and order in my life. On the days that I have a definite plan of what I must get done I find that I'm more calm. happy and productive than on the days that I have only a vague idea of what I have to do. I'm sure that you are the same way. Even so, life is dynamic and not stagnant so I try not to be dictated by my love of structure and order and rather do what is needed to be done.

For instance, I am the father of a BIG family (twelve children; 6 boys and 6 girls) and I really didn't do too much work in the house the past few years. When I had only 6 or 7 children, and the oldest one was only 12, I helped my wife when I came back home at night. I washed dishes, did laundry and straightened up the house at the end of the day. I really didn't enjoy this role too much but what is fair is fair.

However, when my daughters became older, they took over my job of helping my wife in the house, and to tell you the truth did a much better job than I did. The dishes were cleaner, the laundry was cleaner and the house was more tidy. This created a situation that my younger children never saw me do any work in the house.

I was very happy with the way things were but, like I said before, life is dynamic and not stagnant and things change.

Last June my 19 year old daughter got married (one less worker in the house) and in September my 18 year older went away to school (the second one left me). I therefore couldn't keep to my role of not working in the house but after a 6 year leave of absence I once again began to help in the house.

My younger children noticed the change. One night I was washing the dishes after supper and my youngest boy (age 6) looks at me and says in wonderment, “Daddy, you know how to wash dishes!?" I chuckled and told him the truth; that I have washed more dishes than all of his sisters put together and that since the big girls left home and Mommy has no helpers I have to help her. I feel, and I'm sure you also do, that he learned an important lesson; structure and order is nice, but it isn't paramount.

Therefore, my parenting tip for you is:

*Structure your day, week, month, and year the best that you can. This will help you be calm and happy and consequently the whole family will be better off.

*However when things get hectic and your help is needed, don't be a slave to your plans but give your help where it is needed.

Shevach Pepper is the happy father of 12 children. Click to get a free copy of his helpful ebook Hello, I'm _ An inventory to make, preserve, and enhance relationships. To learn more about him; visit Shevach's biography .


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