Super smart dogs will bring the mail to you, wake you when it is time to get out of bed, or, those with colossal smarts can make a pot of coffee, vacuum the bedroom, or change a baby’s diaper. Our dog is not that smart. She does however; make a point to keep us protected from most airplanes that fly near our home and the many birds that think they have the right to our trees and rooftops.
I feel no threat but allow her to bark a threat since this purpose of hers is clearly determined. “Good girl” I say, “Get that airplane.” Although useless, she appreciates the fact that she has a purpose in life. I know, I can read her mind. While most dogs sleep, eat, and go for walks, Cali barks at planes. I’m pretty certain that if we failed to recognize her unmatched skill, her self-assurance and value would dip considerably. She may have resorted to prescription drugs by this time.
People need purpose; something to do that is of value. Children need purpose too. Instead of assuming my innate role of doing everything for every member of my family, at all times, I need to allow our kids to have purpose in our family. Zac helps with cooking. We depend on him and he enjoys his role, Maddi always makes sure that the kitchen is clean since she is often the last to leave, Carson loves to help with the dogs and has been know to bathe them without our asking, and Ty is our researcher and finds information on the internet that we need.
Find what your children enjoy doing in order to determine their purpose in the family. When they are younger they can help with getting the mail, wiping counters, or sucking up kitchen crumbs with the hand held vacuum. As they get older ask them what they like to do. They can help with food preparation, wash the inside of the cars with wet wipes, or water the indoor plants. They can stock toilet paper rolls in the bathrooms, organize your junk drawer, or brush the dog. Not everything needs to be chore related, but some enjoy tasks. If they are more relational, have them place the order at the drive through window, or have Face Time conversations with friends and relatives.
Cali may not be super smart, but she knows her purpose. Thanks to her, our yard only gets an occasional airplane flying overhead. Now, if we could get her to scare away the flies, our backyard would be perfect. Perhaps one of our children could take on that task.