Wait – Wait! Come back! You have to hear the whole story~
We have a slow to rise family. Hubby’s schedule means he works from 10-9 – which means he stays up later, and so do the boys. 9am-10am is our Daddy Hour. The earlier I rise in the morning – the more quiet alone time I get . . .
My desire – is that the boys will rise before 9 ready to start the day – but that doesn’t always happen. They sleep down in the basement, with really steep stairs, so I’m often heard calling down a silly morning jingle as I flicker the lights. If I go away, my oldest will just roll over and fall back to sleep.
Most days – this is OK for me, boys need sleep – they will work the rest of their lives, yadda yadda – BUT – we have been involved in a really fun unit study this month, and Jon and I like to start early . . . I don’t want to do a unit study activity twice – that sort of looses the point!
So – one day this week – I posted on Facebook – What did/do you do to get your teens to get out of bed consistently on their own? I think I got 30 different replies – from the devout conservative answer of ‘Boys Should Rise by 7 to Prepare for the Real World’ to ‘Throw a glass of water on em’ to ‘Let them sleep – more time for you’.
As I was thinking/praying/asking for advice, a word kept popping up in my head. Laziness. Not Sleepiness, Laziness. So I argued with the voice – as I’m often found doing – He’s not lazy – He’s tired. He’s not lazy – he’s a really hard obedient worker!
Again with the One Word. Laziness. Again with the mama excuses of why my kid’s not lazy – which involves comparing to other fictional teen stereotypes to prove how wonderful my prince is.
Yep. One Word. Laziness.
Fine! I’ll prove you little voice in my head – I’ll look it up and prove that it’s just Tiredness.
(Note to self and readers – looking up scriptures to prove that little voice wrong is usually not a good idea – Just sayin’ He wrote the book!)
So where did I go?
Plants Grown Up and For Instructions in Righteousness
Whenever we see a trait cropping up in our sons that we’d like to see weeded – we turn to For Instructions in Righteousness. The flipside is also true, when we see a seedling that we want to nourish – we go to For Instructions in Righteousness for fertilizer.
I purchased Plants Grown Up when the boys were still pretty little – and the activities did not seem to make sense for a young boy. However, now at 14, many of the activities are just right! I started there, looking at Laziness – to see what sort of activities could be done to combat them. Activity wise – we have done many of their ideas with the boys. (pat myself on the back) Oh Wait – Small voice is there – ‘I didn’t say Obedience, I said Laziness’) Have you ever said ‘whatever’ to that voice? Just me? Ok.
So I’m reading through their lists, and I’m still not seeing how to get the kid out of bed. One commanding ‘I mean it’ down stairs, or the mere mention of donuts, beach, pancakes or bacon, and he’s flying up to start the day.
We moved over to Plants Grown Up, and the activities are what we are already doing, save, Get up each day at a certain time whether you feel like it or not. Wait. That was the answer I came here to find! But – It also has the tip to study the entire chapter on Laziness in For Instructions in Righteousness – so back we go . . .
And we have our answer – Laziness causes one to miss out on many opportunities – Proverbs 19:15 – Lazy people sleep soundly, but idleness leaves them hungry. (NLT)
That’s It! If he chooses not to rise, he misses out with Daddy Hour, Hot Pancakes, and – he misses out the fun Jon and I have with the books, drawings, notebooking, and activities. He’ll be left to follow the instructions, on his own, to still be done before 2pm. There will not be easy quick help with his Writing Assignments or Math Questions. We like to answer them as a family on the white board, and I feel that it is one of the most enjoyable times of the day.
You see in our home, simply saying – no electronics – means that we will take a hike, take the boat out, go to the beach visit a friend – They would rather give up electronics any day around here. They have an iPod, but no personal laptops right now, and we do not have any gaming systems to take away. The TV is off til evening anyway – so trying to use one of the FB suggestions didn’t work.
BUT THEN- It happened. God sort of gave me my answer, just so I’d refocus. BUT THEN, He gave me the bigger source of my problem. He took my blinders off. Both of my boys are very obedient hard workers, but they Are Lazy.
At the back of the chapter – is a note to the Parents. Mind you, there isn’t a note at the end of each chapter, so I was interested.
Key sentence – A Lazy Person only does what he FEELS like doing. After the letter, a few questions are listed – about 18 – to ask to see what your child does. I didn’t share my answers/opinions with the boys, but I read the questions out loud to them, and let them say Yes or No – no excuses – no sometimes or maybe – but, in the last 30 days – Yes or No. Even once is a Yes.
Both boys had a split tally of 10/9 or 9/9 but two of the answers were flipped, so they had 12 traits that showed Laziness, and 6 traits that showed their strengths.
It was fun to talk through the questions, hearing their excuses, but then seeing the idea dawn on them, that the excuses were causing the behavior.
They read through many of the verses in both books – and I could see a shift in their eyes. This happened on Wednesday? And I have seen the fruit of not having to ask about their chores or study habits for the rest of the week.
The things they both want to work on is doing something they know to do without waiting to be told, and sticking with the task without being distracted.
I am glad for that quiet voice –
He taught me that I was allowing the laziness, dependency on my voice – for them to carry out their tasks. Is it wrong for me to be the verbal activity director? No, of course not. Should they never have to initiate what they know to do? They should take the initiative.
How differently – without God’s Word, and my helpful Bible Guideline books – the morning might have been, if I started angry, hurt that I had been ignored, and piled up a mound of consequences. Thank You Holy Spirit for your voice. Thank You Doorposts for writing it down throughout the years.
Now – off with you – don’t get lazy reading my novels!
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But, but, but…..if I address THEIR laziness, then I also have to address MINE. *sheepish grin
EXCELLENT! I just posted a blog post on whether moms deserve a break…and I know I’ll get some heat for it from even friends. But this just confirms my thoughts–as I, too, could be lazy about things! Thanks for a great post–and for reminding me that I need to purchase this resource ASAP! 🙂
Hooray for the Holy Spirit! Wonderful post. Thank you, Angie. And thank you Doorposts. What practical examples you offer of turning to the world – then turning to His word.
Yes, ouch, here too… Angie, why do you insist on posting things on your blog that convict me?? Hmmm?? I would say that I’m going to stop reading…but we know that isn’t true. I will say though that most of the time when you write something like this post, I pretend that I’ve not seen it/read it and go about my day.
Sigh. Thank you for this post. God works through people all the time- here’s proof.
…I’m off to do the dishes.
I did bring it up that my laundry pile was on the futon and a couple of other projects that I put off until I was done with things I wanted to do. The discussion was for us all!
Sent from my iPod
I like your answer of “if he chooses not to rise, he misses out on the fun.” It is a great way to handle it at his age. It sounds like you took your time with your problem and sought help in a positive direction.