Character Notes - Enthusiasm

The Character trait of Enthusiasm has been both fun to introduce into our family but also helped us deal with issues such as whining and laziness.

Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.


I am coming to a conclusion on what whining really is.

Whining is energy taking. Whining can’t be done with a smile! Whining stops us from seeing the things God is blessing. You can’t put your whole heart into a request, into a chore if you are whining. Enthusiasm is the opposite.

I have been using our studies in enthusiasm to deal with the whining happening today. These are some of the words I have used to encourage our children.

Focus on what God wants you to be/do

  • be happy - rejoice always
  • obey your parents - this is the first commandment with a blessing
  • be kind and loving towards others – for this is the 2nd part of Jesus' command to us

Muster up a smile, pray, and change your heart!


Daydreaming, laziness, procrastination it all looks the same in a child. A child who just won't get in and get it done.

It dawned on me this morning that the very same child who was dragging the chain over her chores is the very same child who in the right situation is such a energy-giver to the family. It suddenly became an issue of the heart and it was an enthusiasm issue. When she wanted to she could be enthusiastic when she didn't want to she would be an energy-taker by being very slow.

  • I pointed this difference out to her and we discussed the difference between being an energy-giver and an energy-taker.
  • We discussed that it was her choice.
  • We discussed that she often chose to be an energy-giver at times when she was the center of attention (as the family clown often is!) But... to be an energy-giver with character she needed to be a servant and often go unnoticed. Could she give energy to the family because it was the right thing?
  • We discussed that the family did not have to have her around when she was making wrong choices so if she continued to procrastinate, daydream and be slow, she would be sent to her room till she decided to be an energy-giver. She would then have to complete her chores, and possibly anything that her siblings couldn't complete because of her own incomplete chores, in her own time.

Since this discussion we still need to remind her to be an energy-giver to the family but she immediately knows what this means and changes her heart very quickly.

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