Proverbial Family: Raising Children to be Ants

Oh, will they ever learn,
These kids I’m trying to raise?
When will they take responsibility,
So I can give them praise?

I tell them over and over,
But it doesn’t seem to stick;
When will it ever get through,
That skull that’s so thick?

Ah ha, a glimmer of hope,
After years and years;
They did it without prodding,
This will help my fears.

Another success today,
Maybe all won’t be doom;
I see proof of my efforts,
As I watch them bloom.

Parents, I feel your pain and frustrations. You try and try to get your children to be more responsible — to think ahead, to take initiative — without you having to always remind them.

You’re raising them to be like the ant in the proverb. Not a sluggard — which is what it seems many times they will be — but a mature, independent ant that will take care of what’s important without having a ruler constantly reminding them.

Well, guess what. Now that mine are teenagers and I have 16 years of parenting under my belt, I’m here to tell you it will start happening. Not over night, but a little at a time ONLY IF you will patiently put in the time and effort and do the tough things when needed.

You can’t give up, you will have to be consistent, and then, many times you will have to just grit your teeth as you stand back and allow them to fail and face the natural, painful consequences. Sometimes those consequences will negatively effect you, but this is the nature and reality of a responsible parent who raises responsible children.

And remember, if you want your children to be ants, you must first be one. So, go to the ant, observe her ways, and be wise. Prepare your children for the future, and with much longsuffering, your harvest will be plentiful.

What magnificent, tiny creatures ants are! What lessons we can learn by just observing their ways! You, Father, made them to be hard workers who govern themselves without the need of a chief or ruler. This is what I’m trying to raise my children to do. Please help me train them to learn to prepare for the necessities of life on their own. Show me in which ways I am lacking, and give me the wisdom and strength to endure and do the hard things as a parent so they can one day be responsible as the ant. Amen.

Truth in love,

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