Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The One Thing Every Kid Should Know

I revamped our chores a bit this fall, and we are finally getting a good handle on how it goes. I set the kids up in teams, an older paired with a younger, and had them rotate three main jobs - Bathrooms, Laundry and Kitchen, with each team tackling each job twice weekly. My 6 year old took one look at my chart and said "but what are you going to do, Mom?" I assured him that there was still plenty of work left for me. I find myself helping out in all these areas and more, of course, but it wasn't until this evening that I discovered one perk I hadn't even planned on.

Fiona was on kitchen duty, so she was peeling potatoes and handing them to me to cut up for dinner. I turned on some music and the two of us sang along together and I thought - this is my favorite part of being a Mom. These moments where we are just together in real life. When I think about growing up in a family not too unlike the one I'm growing, I remember feeling the same. My favorite moments were those where I felt like I was exactly where I belonged. 

The new rotation of chores sees me folding laundry, making dinner, cleaning bathrooms with each kid twice weekly in some capacity. To my 6 year old's amazement, yes, I'm still somehow involved in these chores every day but to mine? I'm enjoying them more than I had ever thought possible because I'm getting to work shoulder to shoulder with these people in turn and get to bond with them in a special way.

Fiona finished up and ran off to find her sister while I finished up dinner, thinking about raising kids in that security, that deep held knowledge of belonging, but more than that - of being cherished.

The one thing every kid should know is that they are prized. Not that they are little monarchs, incapable of doing wrong, or dictators that must be obeyed. Every kid should know that they are of the utmost importance, and because of that, they are worthy of protection - yes, even protection from themselves. I wonder if mine know that. That I say no to things because I cherish them more than I fear their disappointment. I prize them more than I do their approval of my parenting. It's a constant battle for me, with my people-pleasing personality. I do so want to be liked by my children. Loving them more than myself demands that I set that aside for their sake. Because sometimes prizing someone is doing the hard, right thing.

Navigating middle school has been eye opening and no, I have no idea if I'm doing it right. I'm sure parenting a high schooler will stretch me even more. The world outside worries me, yes, but the world inside each of my kids concerns me the most. I know that I want each of them to know at the very core of themselves that they are treasured by their Heavenly Father - and seen as more precious than anything on earth to me.

The one thing every kid should know is the one thing I hope to press on the hearts of my children:

You are more valuable to me than anything else in this world. Nothing could ever be more precious to me than you. I would give it all away for you, risk your disappointment and your anger to protect you as the deeply cherished soul that you are. And I will never stop loving you.

I wonder, if every child knew this - if the world would be a different place.

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