Wednesday, October 2, 2013

the virtue in DIY

I greatly admire people with a Do-it-Yourself attitude (mainly because I struggle with this!).  My husband is terrific at looking up How-To videos on Youtube to teach him to accomplish house projects.  My mom is our family "handyman," who can also sew and craft together anything and everything!  I also have friends who garden, cook everything from scratch, landscape their own yards, homeschool their children, refinish used-furniture... What a great example these DIY-ers are to their families and children (and to myself)!

I cannot help but notice that many young people these days act "entitled".  My husband interviews college graduates trained to be CEO's, yet they rarely show the effort to attain it.  I teach ballet for children who expect to be showcased or to move up to a more advanced class without displaying enough discipline to work hard at their current level.  Why does it often seem as though the numbers of diligent individuals is dwindling?  How can I be sure that my children grow up with strong character, morals and zeal to work for what they want?

Years ago, life at home consisted very much of physical labor.  Children witnessed their parents working out in their farm fields, building furniture and home structures, baking bread, sewing their clothes, washing laundry by hand ect.  There were no microwave dinners, paper towels, and automatic tools!  If you ask a child today what their parents do, I guarantee that many have no idea.  It is challenging for a young person to understand why sitting at a computer is considered "work!"  Home has become a place for leisure and comfort in family life.  And though this is not the cause of entitlement (nor is it necessarily a bad thing), I believe that it is greatly affecting our newer generations.  Modern-day conveniences allow us to rest at home and spend more time together-- something I am very grateful for, however we cannot forgot to teach our children the value in working hard.

Lately, my husband and I are also brainstorming more ways to let them witness our work and to encourage them to participate when it is appropriate.  I have been trying to let my children help me with housework and cooking.  It takes longer, but I feel as though these life skills can truly help shape the people they will become.  Even handing a toddler her own shovel before doing some gardening can help instill in her the value and pride that comes with an accomplished task!  Lastly, I have also been reflecting about Apple Jacs' recent post about temperance, and about training ourselves to not always taking the easy-way-out, but to seek out ways to grow in virtue.  What a blessing that in working with discipline and diligence, we will also be setting a great example for our family!

1 comment:

Jaunebug said...

I completely agree! I think giving kids chores (and expecting them to do them) is huge, but also I really liked "Child Training" by V.M. Hillyer. It's basically a book about teaching kids to be self-disciplined and gives TONS of ways for little kids (ages 4 - 8) to practice. It's out of print, but available online: