Thursday, July 11, 2013

This Stupid Thing I Have to Do

I was doing some writing a week ago and, when I opened my Documents folder to find my work, I noticed something I hadn't seen before. It was a file called, "This Stupid Thing I Have to Do."
I did a double-take at the title and thought, Hmmmm. Not sure what that's all about.
And I moved on.

I figured it was work one of the kids had saved on the computer from a school project, or something.

A few days later, it all became clear.
You see, Brian and I have given Joshua an assignment this summer to read a book and write a response to each chapter. We came up with this idea as a result of his end-of-the-year report card. Rather than punishment (i.e. taking away privileges) for a poor grade, we wanted to give him a task which would benefit him - from which he might actually grow and learn something valuable. So, Brian picked the book (How to Win Friends and Influence People) and we gave him the assignment.
Annnnnnnd, it would be a major understatement to say, "Joshua was not excited about our choice of assignments."
So, when I opened up my computer to read Joshua's responses to chapters 1, 2, and 3, and I looked at the title he'd used to save his work, I understood. Of course. "This Stupid Thing I Have to Do" was Joshua's assignment. I should have known...

Honestly? I don't really care if he thinks what we're asking him to do is stupid.
*I know we're doing it for his good.
*I know there are some good things he can learn from that book about attitude and the way he relates to people. (His family!)
*I know it would be a useless waste of moaning and complaining if we simply took away electronics.
*I am trusting - one day he will understand. And maybe even be thankful for our efforts to help him grow!

And, I am open to suggestion for another book. He's almost finished with How to Win Friends and Influence People, and we've yet to decide on the next one. Thanks. *grin*



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Can't recall how old Joshua is but there are a couple of really great books that I think he would enjoy and benefit from. The first is a little book by Mitch Albom entitled, "Tuesdays with Morrie". The second is John Ashcroft's book, "Lessons from a Father to His Son". Both contain amazing life lessons that all of us would do well to learn.

Kaira said...

I love this! What a great idea. :) Maybe you could alternate books that build into his character with books that fascinate him. If the next book is an outdoorsy book, that he could learn from, it might take the sting out some - like a cool survivalist book or something. Just a thought. How to Win Friend and Influence People is a fantastic book to start with, I think! :)

Some ideas for a second book:

Into Thin Air (so, so good!)

Into the Wild

The Perfect Storm (there is a good movie about this too)

Lost in the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg looks really good too!

Or, you could go another route and do some great history books. I have lists of those if you were interested.

Sara K. said...

Love it! I am always thinking about what I can do to help facilitate character growth in my boys. (And frankly, I wish there was a magic bullet!) Praying for you... and keeping this idea in mind for OUR future! *wink*

Karen Hossink said...

Leah - Tuesdays With Morrie! I listened to that on tape years ago and had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me!

Kaira - Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into them. :)

Sara - I wish there was a magic bullet, too. Let me know if you find it, OK? And thanks for the prayers.

Heather {Desperately Seeking} said...

There's a book called do hard things. I forget who it is by but a Christian book. Great for teen boys.