Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

SAVE LIVES!
See Life 2021
Double your gift now!
Yes, I will help save babies from abortion!
$

The Shoe Rule: Teaching Kids Responsibility Through Family Rules

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Heap of different shoes on color background
New Africa / stock.adobe.com
What started as a rule to get our kids to put away their shoes grew into a good example of how doing right was a much better choice than doing what was convenient.

My 5-year-old son, Thomas, ran past me on his way to the stairs that led to his room. “Slow down,” I automatically called out one of our family rules as I finished folding a pair of jeans. Those family rules were meant for teaching our young kids responsibility and would be instrumental in what happened next. I heard a thump followed by a cry of pain and hurried into the living room. “Are you OK?” I asked.

“I slipped on Michelle’s shoe,” Thomas said, tears rolling down his cheeks.

My husband and I have four kids, but that day there were certainly more than four pairs of shoes in the living room. Our children had gotten into the habit of kicking off their footwear wherever they were. It didn’t bother me when they were younger, but it did now.

After talking with my husband, we decided we needed to motivate our children to pick up after themselves. We wanted them to do what was right, not just what was convenient in the moment — starting with their shoes.

A New Plan and New Family Rules

Our strategy was simple. Any shoe or sock left behind belonged to me. So I picked up shoes and socks throughout the day and then gave my kids an opportunity to earn them back.

When one child asked, “Where are my tennis shoes?” I replied, “You left them in the dining room. If you want to dust the bookshelf, they can be yours again.”

I was completely surprised when this plan worked. After a few shoes were paid for with chores, the footwear miraculously found its way into the proper place without my help. And unexpectedly, our shoe experiment branched out.

At the end of each night, I used to pick up toys and take them to our children’s rooms. But our kids started to do that task on their own. (I think they were afraid the shoe rule might extend to their toys.)

Though I wish we’d started this exercise when our children were younger, I’m glad we began it when we did. The shoe rule was the first step in helping them realize why short-term convenience isn’t always the best answer to a problem.

Parenting is both challenging and fun. Focus on the Family’s Parenting website is full of ideas and advice to help you thrive!

Going Deeper With Teaching Kids Responsibility

As our children grew, the shoe rule gave us a basis for having other conversations with our kids. We used it in our discussions about choosing to do what was right in the areas of personal responsibility and moral decisions.

Was saying an unkind word when they felt hurt the best action? Or was holding their tongue better so as to keep from hurting someone’s feelings and learn self-control? Should they cheat off of a friend’s paper or get the grade they deserved, which forced them to study harder?

Because my children had a tangible example for understanding why they were making decisions, they were better able to think through outcomes. They found that taking responsibility not only for their material possessions but also for their social actions was difficult but important. And sometimes doing what was right felt unfair, such as when a sibling appeared to be held to a different standard.

At those times, we talked about Paul’s encouragement in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” With each choice to do what was right, my children learned that doing good was seldom the most convenient path, but it had rewards. Not saying an unkind word kept friendships stronger. Not cheating made them better students.

Over time, our kids began to understand how their choices had short-term and long-term consequences. What started as a family rule to get our kids to put away their shoes grew into a great way of teaching our kids responsibility. That rule became a good example of how doing right was a much better choice than doing what was convenient.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Dad and son talking together
Communication

How to Be a Better Parent By Checking In With Your Kids

Asking for constructive feedback from our children is a great way to become a better parent. Talking with our kids will help us to better see our blind spots and address areas of our parenting that we need to work on.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others!