In our previous post we talked about how important it is to instill lessons and values into our children as soon as possible while being careful not to legalistically shove our beliefs down their throats. Really we as parents and teachers need to lead by example.
This memory stays with me from years ago, before I married and had kids. I was traveling somewhere in an airport and I remember looking over at a small child eating candy while sitting next to his mom. Each candy wrapper was nonchalantly thrown onto the floor followed the child popping the treat into his mouth. The parent did nothing. She just sat there and then left the mess on the floor. I was floored! How was this kid supposed to know that the floor/ground is not a garbage can and WHY it’s important not to litter if someone doesn’t guide and teach him?
It’s not hard to see people littering all over the place every time we leave our homes. And boy does it accumulate! We can slap fines on people for littering but I think real change comes from educating and motivating our children to help the problem.
We have woods behind our house with a walking trail that we like to utilize as much as possible. This week my oldest kid (8 years) insisted that she take several garbage bags with her on the walk to clean up the trail and this is what she came back with:
We all can take part in someway to cleanup our communities to make them better for the next generation. What’s it going to be for you?
Some people (sometimes I would think most people in our society but I want to stay real and as positive as possible here) think that it’s irresponsible to have many children. I do understand the mindset behind this…”we are in an over population crisis! People are starving all over the world!…People use and wast so much energy in our country…There are landfills popping up everywhere..” and on and on it goes. I’m not saying these points are not valid, they certainly are! However I do not believe that the solution to these problems is making sure our communities have 1.5 children. I personally have seen landfills grow and even took a class in engineering school to learn how to design one to fill MORE garbage. I personally had a grandfather that said the meanest things about me wanting a large family. But here’s the thing, there is power in patiently educating without shoving points down people’s throats.
I do believe that we need to do better. Better in taking care of what has been given to us and being grateful for this earth that we live on. We need to show our kids that these are gifts given to us and to be good stewards of them. What will happen if I shove my believes into them without patiently teaching the HEART of the issue? They’ll flee from it all.
There are so many things that I am personally learning and I’m seeing how much grace I need in this as well. (Like when I’m just too lazy to rinse out the 12th yogurt container so that it can be recycled).
One thing I want to talk about today is instilling responsibility in my kids and teaching them that they need to take part in helping diligently and cheerfully. If I do everything for them, they will grow up believing that things should come to them on a silver platter. First they learn at home so that they can go out in society and apply it there.
Every morning my children are expected to do two chores laid out for them. We have a chore chart on the refrigerator that changes every season. I’m not saying that this is easy. Goodness there are many mornings that I want to run far far away from teaching this chore thing!
Along with these chores, my kids are learning about healthy living and how we keep our home safe from chemicals. They are able to do just about every task because we use Norwex and I don’t need to worry about toxic junk getting on their hands or being consumed.
Using Norwex in my home has effected my kids in ways that I don’t always realize. The other day I was trying to get some supplies together to do a craft with the kids. When I asked them if we had any paper towels, my 5 yr old responded by saying “what on earth is a paper towel??! It sounds like a towel made out of paper and that’s weird”. These simple things can have huge impacts for our world and communities. We can all take part in educating in some way!