Last month we did a little deep cleaning around our house. Well, okay, not a little — a lot. At least it seemed like a lot. Cleaning can be hard work! By the time we had the furniture moved, the closet emptied, the light fixtures disassembled, and the curtain rods dismantled, I was tired. And only one thing that kept me going was that picture in my mind of how nice the room would look when we were done.
We moms will work hard if we know that the goal is worth it. This week we start a new series of e-mails on habit training. The goal of habit training is smooth and easy days. Think of it. Take a moment to picture in your mind what “smooth and easy days” would look like at your house.
Charlotte Mason said,
We are not unwilling to make efforts in the beginning with the assurance that by-and-by things will go smoothly; and this is just what habit is, in an extraordinary degree, pledged to effect. The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children (Vol. 1, p. 136).
Notice two important points in her statement. First, we must “take pains.” This habit-forming is going to require some work. But smooth and easy days are worth a little effort. Smooth and easy days are worth a lot of effort!
Second, the habits that we are cultivating within our children are an endowment — an investment that will bring them future benefit. Smooth and easy days now are a great goal, but this project is even bigger than that. Good habits instilled now will equip our children well for their futures.
Think of all the habits you wish you already had ingrained in your life right now. How would they make your life easier as an adult? You have the opportunity to endow and equip your child with those habits now, and they will be in place to serve him as he grows.
So as we consider habit training over the next few weeks, picture the rewarding scenes. Hang that goal of smooth and easy days in the gallery of your mind and gaze at it often. Then roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work.
Next week we’ll talk about the importance of getting your child’s will involved.