Do you struggle with being unmotivated? I know I do. After a busy or stressful week, the weekend hits and while I have high hopes of getting so much accomplished, all I want to do is sit. Recently, I’ve noticed this pattern in my own children…only they are becoming increasingly more unmotivated unless given a reason to get moving.
Since we travel full-time now, motivation is essential. We have to be motivated to move campsites every few days and drive to our new “home”.
We have to be motivated to set up camp and get things situated. We have to be motivated to get our work done, whether my own or their homeschooling.
But how to I motivate myself and them, when sometimes I just want to sit?
As I pondered this, I realized that motivation doesn’t just come from within, it is given to us by our Heavenly Father. We were created to do “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV) We were not created to sit and do nothing, we were created for a purpose…HIS purpose.
So my job as a Christian parent is to teach my children to follow His purpose for their life. When they follow His purpose, the work won’t seem like work and a job isn’t just a job. There is meaning and eternal rewards.
How do I teach them everything has a purpose?
One way I have found to teach them is through prayer and Bible Study. We try to start our day with Bible lessons. We have a Bible curriculum we follow for the younger kids and our oldest is asked to follow his daily reading plan. Keeping them grounded in God’s Word, so they can learn to hear His voice for direction and guidance, is key in them finding purpose and meaning for their lives and the work they do in it.
Purpose and meaning are keys to motivation! If I know why or for what purpose or meaning a task is needed, I’m more motivated to get to work!
Getting my children to grasp the purpose and meaning of a particular skill is not so easy, but more recently I have found a tool that has me excited – Skill Trek. A while back I was able to do a couple Facebook Live interviews with the creators of this amazing new resource. Skill Trek was created out of a necessity for the needs they saw in their own children. The intent of this program is to teach children basic life skills with a purpose.
What do I love about this program?
- I love that this program is teaching valuable skills for everyday life. For instance, I have several children who want to learn how to cook, but one who just wants the food put in front of them. Through the Skill Trek system, all my children can be encouraged/challenged to learn to cook.
- I love that the activities are divided up in to age-appropriate categories, but they are not strict, nor are they listed for specific ages to the kids. So, if you have a 9 year old struggling with tying their shoes, then they can work on that skill without feeling like they are dumb or behind. If you have a 6 year old who knows how to cook already, they can jump ahead to a task that might be listed for an older child (with adult supervision). No ages are listed on the programs, except on the parent side, so children do not know what age-group they are working through.
- I love that Skill Trek is completely customizable. Whether you have a child who is more advanced than others at his/her age or a special needs child that needs to take things at a slower pace, this program is flexible.
- I love the reward system for Skill Trek. Children receive a “nugget” when they have completed a task. However, completion is not just a one-time try. A nugget is received only when the child can prove over a period of several successful attempts, they have mastered the skill. This encourages discipline, perseverance, and working with purpose. All things which Jesus Christ says are vital to the Christian life:
“And whatever you do in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17, NET)
Skill Trek is so much more than just a task program. It is built on the foundation that yes, skills need to be learned, but there is a purpose and meaning behind them.
Why do I need to learn to tie my shoes? Because not every shoe is a slip-on or velcro.
Why do I need to learn to cook an omelette? Whether an omelette or a pancake, you need to learn to cook for your own health.
While earning “nuggets” motivates my children, they are learning valuable life skills and learning the purpose God has for their life. Through these lessons a child may find they have a love and passion for cooking or for building things or that they are mechanically-minded – any of which could lead in to a life-long fulfilling occupation.
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