Don’t you hate it when your kids come to you and say, “I’m bored.” It drives me crazy. I usually say something to the effect of, “You have a room full of toys, if you’re bored it’s your own fault!” Then they give me that, “Come on dad” look, and I tell them to go play. If this is you too, there is something we need to teach our children.
Children must be required to initiate things in their lives. Obviously this looks different depending on their age and abilities, but initiative will serve them well long past their childhood and into their lives as adults. Learn this phrase and repeat it often, “You are responsible for your own fun.” There are times when you should set up things for your children to do. Setting up a fun trip to the zoo or teaching them how to build a pillow fort. But if your child never learns to use their imagination and come up with things to play on their own, it can have a negative impact on them.
In life, you must learn to take control and initiate many things. If you want a job, you’ve got to go out and get one. Waiting on an employer who has never heard of you to call you and offer you the job of your dreams is extremely unlikely. We understand that isn’t really the same thing as a child coming up with games on their own, but if you require them to have initiative when they are young, it will lay a foundation that will help them when they are grown.
So many times in life the young adults and adults who struggle with progressing at work or in their relationships do so because they lack the initiative to do more than what they have been asked to do. Many times this is because they have never been required to initiate and complete goals or tasks of any kind. They’ve spent their entire lives living out someone else’s agenda. Don’t do that to your kids. Tell them to make their own fun!
You may get a few more eye-rolls now, but it will pay-off later.
How do you instill initiative in your kids?
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Remember: We love you. We’re praying for you. And we’re in this together.