When Mandi was 3 and taking swimming lessons, she cried every morning when she woke up and said," I don't want to go to swimming lessons." Then she cried the whole way to the pool.
I wanted to say, "O. K., you don't have to do it. I don't like making you do it either. It is hard for you, so you can quit." So I asked her instructor how to handle it.
She said just to keep telling her, "It is important for you to do this." So I did and I'm not sure it helped her any, but it did help me.
Then, this past summer, when I was visiting my brother Roger, he was telling me about how he motivated his middle school basket ball players. He started the beginning of the year with an illustration using toilet paper. He said, "Just think about what you do with this. Why do you do it? Because it is important to you! It probably wasn't important to you when you were little, so you might not have used it, but now it is important to you." Any time his players would make excuses, he would just say, "You do what is important to you."
Just last week, I found myself feeling bitter about some of the tasks that I felt forced to do, like housework, getting the 10th glass of juice for Libby, and making kids do schoolwork when they would rather watch a movie. So I asked myself, " Why do you do the things you do? " I answered, "Well, because they are important to me." I felt empowered instead of enslaved. " Yes, it is important to me to have a clean bathroom. It is important to me to have healthy kids. It is important to me that my kids get the best education possible."
So, I do what I do because it is important to me!!!!!