Require Excellence

As your children grow and you begin to give them jobs, you will quickly find yourself in several predicaments.

They won’t want to do the job. This is handled by discipline and standing your ground. They get punished if they don’t do it or if they constantly whine about doing it. Period.

But the other predicament requires more finesse. They might do the job, but they did it haphazardly. They either didn’t complete the task or they did a bad job.

This could be for many reasons.

  • Ignorance or inexperience. They might not know how to do a good job.
  • Lack of focus. They are looking ahead to what they can do next.
  • Laziness or disrespect.

All of these require different responses.

But no matter how you respond, one thing must remain consistent: a requirement for excellence.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

If you inculcate this sentiment, your children will have success in life.

How do you keep this top of mind for the different responses above?

Ignorance or Inexperience

Get down on your hands and knees and show them how it is done. Help them in the task. Be the example of doing it with excellence.

If you treat it like a game that can be fun, then your children will also treat it like a game that can be fun.

Don’t do all of the work for them, but guide them, working side by side.

Once they get the hang of it, there will be a transition period as you start to step away. Have some grace. Have some patience.

Excellence is not the same as perfection. There can be a graduated scale based on their ability. Remember that they are but dust.

Lack of Focus

If they know what they should do, they might need reminders. If they don’t do something the first time with excellence, make them do it again, pointing out what they missed.

Eventually, you can get more strict. For example, if they are in a hurry because they want to play a video game or something, take away that video game if they don’t get the job right the first time.

You want your children to be people who do a job well even if no one is looking over their shoulder. You want them to have integrity.

Don’t let them get away with shoddy work. You don’t have to be angry or mean.

Just point out the consequences and enforce them.

Laziness or Disrespect

The most severe consequences should be reserved for this type of attitude because it will poison them their entire lives. And not only them, but everyone they come into contact with.

This is high-handed rebellion. Punishments look different depending on age and maturity. But it must be swift and immediate. There might be some overlap with someone who has a lack of focus, but there should be no patience for laziness or disrespect.

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