When Jessica Stilwell, a Canadian working mother of three got tired of picking up and cleaning up after her 12 year old and 10 year old daughters, she decided to go ‘on strike’ and the house quickly turned upside down.
Jessica found herself staying up late one evening cleaning up after her children and decided she had done enough. She had taught her daughters how to clean up after themselves — they just weren’t doing it.
When Jessica and her husband went on strike, they didn’t announce anything to their children. She and her husband just quietly stopped cleaning up after their children while they continued to clean their own dishes and pickup after themselves.
After several days, the dishes piled up, milk turned to ‘cheese,’ the dishwasher became the family dog’s food dish and clothes were strewn throughout the house. Eventually, the daughters figured out the it was their fault the house was a mess. The children cleaned up the house and Jessica was crowned a hero by parents everywhere. Here’s a link to a local paper with before and after photos.
It’s easy for busy parents and children to fall back into the ‘season of service,’ where parents take care of their adolescent children’s every need. But this is a nearsighted view. Farsighted parents give their children responsibility and discipline to help them learn. Remember Proverbs 6:23 which says, ‘For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.’
Question: How do you teach your children to take responsibility? What would your children do if you went on strike? Please share your comments here.