“Children do not do what you expect, they do what you InSpEcT.”*
If you’re a parent you know that telling your kids to do something and thinking it will automatically get done correctly without any inspection on your part is unrealistic. They’re kids after all, and kids will be kids!! That’s why they need help from adults to TrAiN them in the way they should go.
I’m sure my kids won’t be happy about this, but I will be inspecting their behavior until the day they become adults. Yes, that means I will be checking up on them from time to time even when they are teens. Did they go to the movie they said they were going to? Are they at the friend’s house they said they would be visiting? etc. It may seem like an annoyance to them – never knowing when Mom & Dad may show up to help keep them honest, but why would I trust them to undeveloped and vulnerable brains that have not yet matured in the areas of judgement, decision-making, and impulse control? When that time comes will you remind me not to disappointed when they don’t show appreciation and gratitude? (That will come 20 years down the road when they have teens of their own.)
For now, however, my inspection is limited to such things as checking up on their chores (did they clean their room, pick up their toys, put their clothes away, etc.) and following and obeying instructions. And each task consists of very SpEciFic and age-specific directions. (I am not saying I always do perfect here, but it’s what I aim for.) For example, when I tell my girls to clean their room they know that means the bed is made, nothing is on the floor, and everything is put in its proper place. Maybe your definition of a clean room is only that the bed is made or their toys are picked up. (If that is even a task you want your kid to do.) Just make sure kids know exactly what you are asking them to do and then inspect to see that it was done correctly.
I am not the authority on raising kids, but I am passing on a lesson I have learned. I would love to hear your comments regarding this subject! I have also included a link that can give you more info on the teenage brain. Hope you all have a wonderful day!! I’ll leave you with this last word of encouragement:
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
*This is a quote I heard from Willie George, pastor of Church On The Move in Tulsa. Before he became a pastor he had been a leading authority on teaching kids about the Bible. Not only did he teach kids, but he also wrote curriculum and distributed it around the world.