My wife is part of a group of ladies who go to our church each Monday morning to clean and straighten up after the church services. They routinely find candy wrappers and food, and doors opened, and things out of place in the areas where children play after services. That, of course, is part of what children do – they play and make a mess. That’s just part of the package. Also part of the package though, is our responsibility as parents to make sure that our children understand the concept of personal responsibility.
Our task as parents – and anyone who works with youth – is to remember that we are not raising children. We are raising adults who have not reached adulthood. By that I mean that we must never lose sight of the fact that the goal is to have a child who grows into a responsible adult – a Southern gentleman or a Southern lady. Play time is great, and every child needs lots of it, but there are also lessons to be learned even in play. Cleaning up after themselves is one of the most basic lessons in personal responsibility that a child has to learn. A nice side benefit is that it quickly makes the job of the “Keeper at home” a lot easier. The primary focus though, is on the lessons of personal responsibility – one of the keys to raising a Southern gentleman or Southern lady.
In case you aren’t already familiar with them, Vision Forum is an excellent resource for parents wanting to raise their children into Southern gentlemen and Southern ladies in a Biblical manner.