Do you test your Children? I don’t test my kids academically but I do test them on their practical skills and their moral strength – to see how responsible they really are. A test is to see how much is known without eternal help. Reminding our kids to do things is a part of training but the training needs to come to a stop at some stage and they need to walk in the skills they have developed. In the business world you are sent to a day of training and then expected to put that into practice. Though training our children in practical skills and moral awareness will probably take more than one day, the idea is still the same. At some stage we need to expect them to put it into practice on their own initiative.
Testing for Responsibility
Some examples to help you see how you can test to see how responsible your kids are:
- Leave things as you find them as see how long before they do something about it. Will they step over it, will the slide it out of the way, will they simply ignore it?
- Let them choose their bedtime and see how they cope in the morning. Will they be able to function with respect and productivity or will they be grumpy and lethargic?
- Don’t remind them of their chore time and see if they take responsibility for their time and if they are aware of their responsibilities.
- Tell them when they have to be ready by and then leave on time whether they are ready or not
- Invite friends over and see how your kids show hospitality
- Don’t check their bedrooms for a week, and see what happens
- Leave them at home by themselves without any instructions
You may be thinking that you could never do that. But I’m talking about kids that you think should know what the right thing is and who should have the ability to choose the right thing. I’m not talking about young kids – but kids who you have trained and who should be able to pass the test! Re-read the list there and really, what is the worst that could happen?
Make sure your kids know how to do something before testing their levels of responsibility.
Once you’ve run a test you are going to be confronted with the results. Be warned the results may hurt you – you may be disappointed. When we are dealing with these practical or moral issues it is the same as if it was an academic test. If your child struggled in an academic test you would employ a tutor, you would do more work on their knowledge. Same goes for other areas of their life too. We need to be prepared to give more instruction and encouragement. Remember the instruction model is: Be the example, teach/instruct, allow practice and then expect them to do it.
It is no biggie if they ‘fail’. It may be annoying, frustrating, exasperating but reality is if they don’t get it – they don’t get it! And we have to continue to train. That is what parents do!!
We can continue to prop up our children with reminders and when we do this it looks like our kids always know what to do and always do it. So often we leave the test of their maturity to a major step like leaving home. We need to test and see what they really know and believe is right, or what they simply do as an act of obedience to your requests.