Just the other day, our daughter was expecting guests. It was in actuality, her 14th birthday party. It wasn't as though we hadn't planned it or knew that our house would soon be filled with 14 year old girls. But the weeks beforehand, we had so much going on with different life events and such that we hadn't cleaned up our front garden and caught up on household chores. We wanted to make our daughter happy by offering a somewhat presentable home that she would not be embarrassed of, as her group of teen bees entered into what we were certain would be a night of giggles, junk food and extreme Snapchatting!
As I straightened up the inside of the house and scurried to get the laundry taken care of, my husband David grabbed his garden gloves, rake and sack and headed to the front of the house. On his way, he caught our son Caleb that was nearby with friends and summoned him to come and join in so that the work would be finished in half the time. It isn't unusual for our kids to give us a helping hand when asked, in addition to their weekly assigned chores. But this particular request was not well-accepted by our son which was of no surprise because of the previous weeks that our entire family was busy and on the go, preventing him from hanging with his buds. Nevertheless, Caleb obeyed his dad but with tears in his eyes and obvious defiance in his face. David, in that moment, was only thinking about getting the work done fast and didn't realize the strife that his not so unusual appeal would create. It wasn't long until a quarrel broke between the two.
But instead of continuing in disagreement and allowing what seemed like a simple request to get completely out of hand, David caught a glimpse of Caleb's friends that waited patiently and respectfully on the street side for their friend to complete his task at hand and got a brilliant idea! He called the boys over and in his motivational voice filled with excitement asked the boys if they would like to earn a little money! He explained that Caleb's sister Simona was expecting guests and needed some help with pulling the weeds and raking before the guests arrived. And that because he was in a bind, time-wise, he could really use a few more hands. The boys quickly agreed to joining in to the not so glamorous activity, grabbed a pair of garden gloves, and dove in! Faster that expected, the job was done within minutes!
What could have ended up a big fight and a bad day was turned around in a way so that everyone involved benefited. David got the garden cleaned up in a hurry. What was a dirty and annoying job to Caleb became a fun team effort involving his friends. And not only did Caleb and his friends earn a bit a money, but his friends were also given the opportunity to help out their friend in need, something that is not a common practice here in Germany. Everyone was happy! The house and garden got cleaned up in no time and we were indulged with cupcakes, games, loud music and laughter throughout the evening!
I LOVE it when there is peace and harmony within the family. Parenting is not an easy job. Especially nowadays where life is so fast paced and both parents are forced to work. Not to mention the distractions with technology, cell phones and social media. Keeping a family in balance and close-knit has become a difficult task for many. Sharing ideas and daily experiences with one another as an encouragement and motivation is a small way to keep the momentum of having a strong family going!
Do you have any ideas or experiences that you would like to share about what keeps your family strong? I'd love to hear from you!
With Love and blessings!
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