Janice Eicholtz | @JanJanMom
Recently, I attended a baby shower. As I was putting the finishing touches on the gift and signing the card, I signed as usual: Love, Erik, Janice & girls. Only this time, I thought about it. I wondered how much longer I would write my kids' names on my cards. What is the grace period before young adults are expected to be in charge of gifting others on their own? Of course, this led to me thinking about this era of delayed adulthood. What benefit is it to delay adulthood? Is it so that we parents can save face? "Well, I know my kid did (insert terrible action), but he is only 20...that is really still just a child."
Do we really benefit from a society that is not expected to mature until they are 30? I see teenagers from the ages of 13-19 on a daily basis. Some of them don't even have the discipline to put their trash in the trash can. They just drop it on the floor. Why? Parents are too tired and stressed out to take the time to teach their children how to clean and maintain. They choose to do it themselves. So, a whole group of folks are not picking up after themselves AND they are EXPECTING OTHERS to do it for them. Adulthood should start in the teen years. Messages of old are not being passed along to our teens as they used to be. For my own amusement, I'm going to review some of my favorite advice.
I love the verse in Proverbs 6:6: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. This verse reminds me to work hard and also plan ahead. Ants model teamwork and they could take over the world...after all they certainly outnumber us and their strength is phenomenal. Working hard is how I define success. This life will be full of obstacles, but with individual hard work, plus teamwork and planning, our ability to jump hurdles increases exponentially.
Whatever you do, do well. Ecclesiastes 9:10
...More commonly stated as, "A job worth doing is worth doing right." or "Bloom where you are planted." In this day and age, children are told from a very young age that if they find their passion, they will never have to work a day in their life. This ridiculous notion has been translated into not doing work you don't love. This includes cleaning, cooking and doing things for other people. Work is a fact of life. Sometimes we enjoy the work we are doing, so it doesn't seem so hard. Sometimes we know the work is hard but the people we are working with make it fun. And other times, it is nothing but a hard and unenjoyable task that must be endured to obtain a desired result: like unclogging a drain or chopping wood. It is at those time we must think beyond ourselves and embrace the notion of blooming where we are planted.
I am in the last years of truly parenting my children. Honestly, I'm freaking out a little. I tried desperately to make sure their childhood was easier than my own. My first job as a dishwasher was not one I wished upon them. Now, I second guess that decision. It made me appreciate every other job I have ever had since then. I liked washing dishes...because my co-workers and I made it fun. We bonded through really hard and exhausting work. I wish I had given my children more chores to do and given them money to learn to save. I fear they are gonna make mistakes as adults that would have been better made at a younger age. By making life easier, I may have made it ultimately harder.
This much I know to be true though, old proverbs and colloquialisms are most often rooted in Biblical truths. God has infinite wisdom. If we follow His direction, we will always reap wonderful rewards. If we don't, we will get to learn things the hard way.
Janice Eicholtz is a Christ-follower that loves to laugh and thinks she is funny, so please laugh at her jokes! She and Erik, her husband of 21 years, have THREE teenage girls. She is a substitute teacher by day and a recovering supermom all the time. Her hobbies include nature walks, audio-books, writing, and Netflix. Follow her at her blog, ChefJanice.blogspot.com and contact her on Twitter via @janjanmom.