Our Thoughts by John and Tricia GoyerOur thoughts on allowance:
Personally, we've never had "allowance" for our kids. From their preschool years we incorporated something called "Family Share." We used this instead of allowance. The family shared the work and they also shared the chores. The kids still do chores, such as dishes, setting the table, mowing the lawn, and various other chores that come and go on a daily basis, and they only get their "share" of the family's money IF they share the work. (We pay $1 a month for every year they are old. 13 years = $13.)
Also, once our kids got into their early teen years we also encouraged them to get part-time jobs. We've always felt it was important to learn productivity through working outside of the home as a part of a team.
Our thoughts on responsibility:
We have not always given our kids things "because everyone else has them." We have waited until we feel our children are ready for the responsibility. For example my son didn't get his first cell phone until he was eighteen and he saved up money to pay for one. He also has to work for his car insurance.
John and I set reasonable boundaries for the computer, for interactions with friends, for movies and music, and we expect them to follow them. We also let our kids know that they can come to us for anything. Part of responsibility is coming clean when you've messed up.
Our thoughts on service:
Since our kids were small they volunteered with us in children's church. We have participated in a dramatic children's church for twelve years. As soon as they could follow cues and memorize their parts our kids acted out Bible Stories with us. They still volunteer. Leslie and Cory act with us, and Nathan runs the lights and sound. We also encourage additional volunteering, such as counselors at Bible camp, helping in youth group, or volunteering at VBS. As I type this our two youngest children are on a short-term missions trip serving at a homeless shelter. Faithfulness is caring for others and sticking to a commitment to serving God by helping others.
We also teach faithfulness to God by encouraging person Bible Study, church service, and quiet time. We model this for them and share what God's doing in our lives on a daily basis. Also our family is working together to go on a short-term missions trip to the Czech Republic this year--to share God love in a country where .02 percent of people are Christians.
Our thoughts on God's word:
Tricia: Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God" has been a life verse for my parenting. I tend to "do" and worry and stress. God reminds me to be still and let Him work!
John: Matthew 19:14, is my favorite verse: "Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." This verse reminds me that we need to focus on our kids when they are young. This is the time to transform their hearts.
Our thoughts on the HARD WORK of parenting:
Tricia: The hardest thing for me is the daily-ness of being a parent, especially since I homeschool my kids. It's a lot of work! Also, there are other outside pursuits that could draw me away from parenting. God reminds me often which things to put first.
Also, when we were first married I already had Cory. For a lot of years I had trouble letting John be dad. I wanted things my way, I thought I knew best, and I wanted the final say. I soon learned that life is so much easier when I let John do his thing.
John: My biggest struggle was our difference in opinion in what it took to raise children early in our relationship, but as we took parenting classes together we learned we had a lot to learn, and that we were both wrong. But now we are reaping the benefits of our hard work. We are enjoying moving from absolute authority to mentor to coach.
Our thoughts on being MARRIED as parents:
We know that the most important thing we can do for our kids is to love our spouse. Their whole world crumbles if what we have doesn't last. We talk together, read our Bible together, and pray together. We also go on dates a few times a month and try to get away together for a longer period of time at least once a year. We know we need husband and wife, not mom and dad time.
Our thoughts on raising adults:
We realize that we are raising future adults. If we do everything for them ... or let things slide when they are kids ... then what good will that be in their future?
We also know we're raising the parents of our grandchildren and we know what we do now will influence generations.
Stop Lurking! Every week I will draw names for a free Tricia Goyer book from those who comment on my blogs. Winner's choice! Tell your friends.