How could I teach my foster children the value of hard work? This was one of my priorities, since three of them had obstacles to overcome in their understanding of their families’ problems with chronic unemployment.
” . . . make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV).
Diving into the pile
I found the answer when I dumped our laundry baskets out on the floor, making a mountain of work for them to conquer.
The four of us sat around the pile as I demonstrated how to take bites out of it, separating everything into smaller, more manageable piles. It quickly became a game as socks got tossed across the room and they raced to see who would finish first.
Two minutes later a shriek of alarm, and subsequent protests and shrieks, made everything came to a halt. So much for making it our “ambition to lead a quiet life.”
Dishrags stopped flying and girls stood up, waving their hands. Horror of horrors, there was a pair of foster dad’s underwear lying on the carpet.
What salad tongs and underwear have in common
The youngest folded her arms across her chest. “I’m not touching Jerry’s underwear.”
The oldest asked if they could please go and do something else.
The middle said, “Oh, I know, Kathy!” and pulled open the utensil drawer. She held the tongs high in the air, scissoring them to demonstrate her great idea.
Satisfied they didn’t have to come in contact with undesirable undergarments, they finished the task with flourish and giggles. And I gloated a little bit, thinking they had done some problem solving on their own but had assimilated such knowledge through my great teaching skills.
I have an extra pair of tongs if you need them to get your work done today.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis