During January we’re focusing on the virtue of Determination at studio252.  I’m a big believer in Determination.  I think it’s a key ingredient in:

  • marriages that make it
  • faith that lasts
  • maintaining healthy relationships with kids during the teen years
  • a lasting and productive career or calling
  • academic excellence
  • self-control

As much as I value determination,  I must admit I have a tension at play in my life. Like many people, every year I take steps to make my life more convenient.  I’m writing this blog post on my laptop on my living room couch.  I have a cordless phone and cell phone nearby so if someone calls me, I don’t need to get up.  My microwave can heat my lunch in 90 seconds. I recently got a universal remote control so I no longer have to use three remotes to watch TV, just one.

I think you might sense where this is going.  How do you teach kids that value of determination in a culture that’s increasingly focused on convenience?

If convenience truly frees up time for more important things, then it’s an excellent addition to life.  But in a culture where everything is instantaneous, convient and easy, what if, unintentionally, we’re subtly communicating that convenience is the point, not a means to a greater end?

We’ll continue the conversation this week, but here are some ideas to help kids fight the tension:

  • Open a great cookbook and cook dinner from scratch and involve the family.  We’ve been doing that in the last while.  The kids love it.
  • Do the dishes by hand one night.  Don’t stop till they are dried and put away.
  • If you live in the snowbelt like me, put the snowblower away and shovel it by hand.
  • Start school projects early and have kids set their own deadlines to complete the various phases of it.  Hand it in early.
  • Leave the car at home and walk somewhere.
  • Take them to a local historic site and see life as it was generations or centuries ago.  Talk about what kind of determination it would have taken to survive.
  • Read their favourite bible stories through the lens of determination.  Very few stories in scripture would have happened without it.

How does convenience compete with determination in your home and how do you manage that tension? What do you do to help your kids learn the virtue of determination?

In the meantime, read this from Studio 252 for more ideas on how to teach your kids Determination. And watch this video from Reggie Joiner for even more helpful and thought provoking insight:

VIRTUE VIDEO: DETERMINATION (January 2011) from Orange on Vimeo.