My Favorite Parenting Object Lesson

I call it the Freedom Funnel: actually I just made that up.

You've seen a funnel, right? One wide end and one narrow end.

My husband sat the kids down several months ago and taught them about the funnel. He is an excellent teacher; I don't know where he comes up with these gems!

So, the space in the funnel represents freedom. The wide side is lots of freedom and the narrow side is limited freedom.

We can choose which direction we go through the funnel. For example:

I say, "Little, darling children of mine, please get in bed and go to sleep."

They can choose:

A: Enter the narrow end of the funnel and obey quickly and exactly- limiting their personal freedom initially and receive the greater freedom of being well-rested, and ready for a great day tomorrow as they emerge out the wide end with happy, praising, kinder, well-rested parents.

Or B: They could choose to run around and play and exercise all the freedom they possibly can and struggle through the limited freedom of being cranky the next day, earning negative consequences, and irritating their parents!

It might limit my freedom initially to take the time to clean up dinner (even though I want to crash on my bed and watch a show) but I have the wider freedom the next morning when I don't HAVE to clean up dinner before I make breakfast.

I can't tell you how often this has come in handy! A gem! What do you think? How do you teach your children about freedom and accountability?

Similar to how Stephen R. Covey put it:  

“While we are free to choose our actions, 

we are not free to choose 

the consequences of our actions.”

Picture source:


Jewels said...

That's an excellent object lesson. I'm going to share this with my sister who is a new YW president. I think it would be great for youth, too!

Laura Hatch said...

This is really neat. It must be a Hatch thing; Alex is always coming up with great ways to teach our kids. Now we just need to go get a funnel, because we could definitely use this lesson in our house.

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