Monday, January 18, 2010

Parenting Tip #22 Only one Bathroom?!

I have one older sister and 4 younger brothers and we all get along great. Growing up we were normal children and had the normal squabbles, but we never really fought that much or for very long. My mother thinks we are perfect—and we almost are! But she attributes the reason that we all get along with each other so good to the fact that we grew up only having one bathroom!

Now think about it. If you have 8 people in your family and you only have one bathroom, life can get pretty tough. Early on you have to learn to share, to cooperate and to think of how the other person may be feeling. You have to learn to give and take, to be fast, and to be considerate.

Years later, I married and had seven children. Our home only had one bathroom. My children also learned quickly the value of being fast, being considerate, and thinking of others. We also had only one telephone and one television set. My children had to learn how to cooperate, share and take turns.

I’m certainly not advocating that you get rid of your second bathroom! But I think that important values can be taught more readily and easily in the absence of too many luxuries. So the next time you think you need a TV or computer or phone in each room—please take a moment to consider these questions: Am I teaching selfishness and impatience? Am I putting wants over needs? Do I really need that item, or could I teach cooperation instead and even save money at the same time?

How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young? ~Paul Sweeney
Or to paraphrase: How can a society that exists on a phone, computer and TV in every room or for each person teach cooperation and unselfishness to its young?

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