Doing what needs to be done can cause a person to have great success, happy work environments, and so much more. It’s a great life skill that is fostered first at home. Here’s how:
Mothers have such privilege and responsibility that comes with raising children.
Part of our job, along with teaching them life skills and loving them to pieces, is to help shape and mold their characters.
So many positive character traits are learned at home.
However, some traits will have to be worked on much harder than others. The ability to “do what needs to be done” is one of the hard ones.
Doing What Needs To Be Done
I’ve already written on how to raise starter-finishers and this is a similar principle.
Follow this checklist until your tidy routines become second nature.
Most of us were born wanting to find the easy way out.
- Why eat peas when we can feed them to the dog?
- Why clean the house if it’ll only get dirty again?
- Learning math if I’ll never use it in a real job?
Sometimes we have to teach our kids lessons that they don’t want to learn.
Being an adult who is able to do what needs to be done is a great thing. Though it may seem like a basic quality everyone has, I assure you, it is not.
The older I get the more I realize there are many people who are simply not very dependable or reliable. Unfortunately, many look for opportunities to not have to put in the extra effort. I don’t want my children to turn out this way.
So, what does it actually mean to “do what needs to be done” and how can we help instil this in our kids? Read on.
Teach problem solving skills.
Have you ever been anywhere when people are rushing around busily while others are just standing around sidewalk supervising?
It’s good to be the busy person, able to get the job done. Problem solving plays a role in this.
It’s easy to identify a problem. It then gets even easier to sit around and complain about it. Brainstorming and finding potential solutions isn’t as easy.
When our children run into situations where they are at a loss of what to do or need some guidance, these are perfect opportunities for us to help them develop their problem-solving skills.
- Let your children talk things out.
- Without telling your kids what to do, ask them questions that can draw out their own ideas.
- They will learn to think through things and come to their own conclusions.
Kids (and adults alike) need to have confidence in their own decision-making and problem solving skills. If they don’t, they’ll feel insecure and inferior when they hit the real world.
Having problem solving skills will help them in doing what needs to be done.
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Grow to have endurance, consistency, and become a starter-finisher.
It is very easy to start something.
It can be exciting and fun to begin a project or assignment, but when the initial high wears off it takes endurance to carry it out to completion.
Kids don’t naturally possess this quality to a great extent.
They start doing one activity, three minutes later, they want to move on.
I don’t let my children activity jump like the gym circuit at Curves.
If they ask to do something then they can flat sure sit and do it for longer than 45 mississippis. I make every effort to teach my children, and help them myself, how to finish what they start.
- Finish cleaning the room before we move to another one.
- Complete the game we were playing before moving on.
- Wrap up a chore.
- Do what needs to be done.
Children will only learn endurance, consistency and the importance of finishing what they start if we parents consistently require this of them. I don’t mean doggedly stand over them and yell “finish, minion”, but we must model these qualities for them and expect it in the responsibilities and chores they are given.
Be active and observant when doing what needs to be done.
There are some people who just seem to notice others’ needs. I’m thinking of a particular man at my church who is so thoughtful and who, may a time, can be seen helping others.
He notices when there aren’t enough chairs or someone is struggling to carry a heavy item. He’s a kind man and he is observant.
Being able to do what needs to be done requires us to be able to see what needs to be done.
Seeing what needs to be done means that we aren’t just sitting around thinking about ourselves. I admit that I struggle with this at times. If someone asks for help I’ll jump and run, but it may take me a while to notice.
I want my children to be able to say “I noticed Mr. so-and-so’s yard looks like it could use mowing, I know he’s been sick so maybe I could go do it for him.”
Bosses don’t want to stand over your shoulder and tell you every single thing that needs doing. They want you to look around, see it, and do it.
Drop the exciting and blame shifting.
There is little that bugs me more than someone who has lots of excuses and reasons why they don’t do what they need to do.
When I fall short or mess up, I simply say “I should have done that and I didn’t. I’m sorry. I’ll fix it.”
Really, what else needs to be said?
Some people are always ready with an “I didn’t feel good” or “I was busy” and “time got away with me” to the point where it seems life conspires against them to do what they need to do.
It’s important that we listen to our children’s explanations and learn to differentiate thoroughly and accurately between legitimate reasons and excuses and justifications.
If you had all week to do Chore X, then not “feeling well” the afternoon the chore should be finished doesn’t cut it.
I think we need to hold and keep our children accountable from a young age for the things they are responsible to finish. I don’t mean giving them huge heavy loads, but being consistent in requiring them to do the things that are agreed upon
And, not being taken in by excuses.
Don’t raise doormats.
As I speak about seeing what needs to be done and doing it, I don’t mean to become a doormat or a martyr to everything and everyone.
It’s easy to do and do and do and do and then begin to think no one else can do but you.
Wisdom and balance are key in all areas, and part of knowing what needs to be done is also stepping back and realizing when it isn’t OUR job to get it all done.
That can be harder for some than the doing, particularly us Type A women.
So… I don’t advocate making our children slaves or robbing them of their childhood. Far from it!
Check off critical household, social, and hygiene skills for your child so they’re prepared (not petrified) of growing up!
I believe that childhood will bring many opportunities – and at their own level – for us to teach them how to be people who can do what needs to be done.
My 2 year old currently has about three chores. She “makes” her bed every morning, which means she stacks her pillows and toys at the end of her bed, she holds the dustpan as I sweep and throws it in the trash, and she picks up the toys after herself.
See? I’m no mean mama! However, with those things I do require her to push through. Slow and steady wins the race, mama!
Looking forward to reading this series! I love everything character related :-)
Rachel Norman says
Oh I’m glad someone else is too! It feels kind of heavy at times, but it’s so important and I love thinking about it. Nerds, I guess :)
Yes it’s definitely all encompassing. I could write all day about character building, for sure. Oh wait, I do! Haha :-)