Declare a War on Sloth Fighting Laziness Takes Work By Tammy Darling
NOV. 8, 2009 (www.faithandfamilylive.com
) - While no one wants to be labeled lazy, the sad fact is many of our youth today are just that.
In fact, I have one such child myself. Because my oldest daughter has a tendency towards laziness, I want to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a life-long problem.
It’s easy to ignore my daughter’s lack of motivation, but by doing so I am doing her more harm than good. Perhaps, if I am truthful, it’s a bit of laziness on my part when I don’t follow through by requiring my daughter to get up and get moving, to work diligently, or to complete an assigned task.
Laziness can stem from various sources. It may be a power struggle for control. Others may fear failure or want to avoid a difficult task. Some are lazy simply because they want attention or are used to having everything done for them.
I would have to place my daughter in the last category. As my firstborn, I did everything for her — for years. My mistake. Now I have a pre-teen that has little motivation to do things for herself, let alone for others. She tends to do the least she can get by with.
As a parent, I have to take responsibility for training my children. Because of my excessive doting on my daughter in her early stages, I am now faced with the challenge of curbing her laziness.
Realistically, we all have tasks we’d rather not do and responsibilities we’d prefer not to tackle. As such, we must be careful we are not manifesting laziness ourselves. A quick checklist:
Do I procrastinate when it comes to doing tasks I don’t enjoy?
Do I get up on time or repeatedly hit the snooze button?
Do I work diligently, seeing a project through to completion?
The book of Proverbs is full of scriptural truths concerning laziness as well as its counterpart — hard work. I’ve been spending a lot more time there with my kids:
He who gathers in summer is a wise son, But he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.—Proverbs 10:5
The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing, But the desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied.—Proverbs 13:4
He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, But the hand of the diligent brings wealth.—Proverbs 10:4
I want my children to know that hard work is valuable and satisfying. Each person has significance and a place within the family unit. The “every joint supplies” concept (see Ephesians 4:16) applies to the family as well as the church.
I have learned the importance of giving kids age-appropriate responsibilities while they are still young. My nine-year-old is a naturally hard worker and even my three and five-year-olds enjoy pitching in by helping set the dinner table and folding washcloths.
Because I am an organized, time-efficient person, I have to resist the tendency to take over jobs that are incomplete or poorly done. Instead, I know I must take the time to properly train them to do a task to the best of their ability.
Because my oldest daughter loves to watch movies, play Wii, and play games on the computer, I limit her time with these activities. While they can be beneficial, they are no substitute for exercise, hard work, and contributing to society as a whole.
For the last two years she has been volunteering one day per week at a local nursing home. This single act has done a plethora of good to curb her lazy tendencies. She is beginning to understand what a joy it truly is to serve others.
Curbing laziness doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process. But I am convinced that as our children observe their parents’ positive, disciplined, and godly perspective toward work, they will develop a heart for doing well and live out the truth of Ecclesiastes 9:10:
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
—Tammy Darling writes from her home in Three Springs, Pensylvania, where she also homeschools her four daughters. She has had over 700 articles published.