A concept that my mom spends a lot of time with in her book is teamwork. We hear of teamwork in the corporate world frequently, but it’s not common to talk of it in parenting discussions. I know that I’m more inclined to see myself as a CEO (Go clean your room) than a coach (Let’s clean your room together.) As my children get older, I find myself feeling more impatient about their lack of independence. They should know better, I say.
Truly, there are times when they do know better, and there are times when I want my children to accomplish something on their own, without help. But if I’m honest, there are a lot of times when my children want or need my help, and I don’t help because I’m preoccupied with my own interests or agenda.
I’ve been practicing saying four words more: Let’s do this together.
I don’t always, and some times I need them to accomplish something on their own. But I have discovered that those four words have helped to maintain a sense of teamwork with my children, something I want to cultivate more. (I’m also finding that my children need my help because they still need help learning how to do something on their own. I have to consider if I’ve broken down a task enough, taught enough, or if I’ve helped them overcome the barrier to accomplishing what I want them to.
Tonight I helped the girls with their bath time. Truthfully, it was hard because I had congratulated myself that the girls could both handle this job without any help from me. The angry screams coming from the bathroom compelled me, not the more honorable desire to be a part of a team; but once I was there, God changed my heart and helped me to help them. I realized (again) that they have not arrived ,and they still benefit from guidance.
Cleaning together didn’t go so well. Sometimes, lack of teamwork isn’t the problem. Guess that’s for another lesson!
In the meantime, isn’t it interesting that the Holy Spirit’s job is someone who comes alongside? Good thought.