finisher

Raising A Finisher

A finisher is by definition – someone who regularly and deliberately finishes what they start. Therefore, by contrast, a non-finisher is someone who can start something with ease but finds difficulty following through, finishing, or bringing things to completion.

Maybe you feel that you aren’t a finisher. Your to-do list seems to never get complete. Welcome to parenthood! Meitsje dy gjin soargen, it is still something you can try to instil in your children. If you find it hard to finish or get things done then I’m sure you’ll see the value in trying to teach your children how to do it right from a young age.

It’s a lot easier to do something that has just always been done than to try to get the discipline and knack for it way later on in life. There are a few qualities and character traits that I don’t feel I possess, but I’m going to try my hardest to prevent my children from following in my footsteps in those areas. Being a finisher, lykwols, is something I am. But I wasn’t always.

Here’s why it’s important.

It’s A Sign of Good Character

Some may say “it’s the thought that counts,” but those that say that are thinking about only certain aspects of life but don’t think about the bank, the IRS, or your boss. In most areas of life, it isn’t actually the thought that counts. It’s what we do with our thoughts that count.

I mean to cook the kids dinner… I planned on cleaning the house… I did remember the electricity bill was due… In most areas we need to back up our mental plans with action. The rubber of our thoughts need to meet the road of reality.

Children will begin life getting fired up to do something, starting it, and then getting bored and moving on. If we let them make this a habit they will continue it. A 16-year-old doesn’t decide out of the blue to stay the course and put in another few hours of good study for her test if she hasn’t been in the habit of doing something and doing it well prior to this time.

To be dependable, reliable and trustworthy our children must be in the habit of finishing what they start and doing what they say they’ll do. If our children can’t finish projects in their own lives how will they have the capacity to reach out and enrich the lives of others?

Being a Finisher helps prevent the blame game phenomenon

Perhaps because I played so many individual sports growing up, but I just never had a scapegoat to benefit from. I cannot stand when people don’t take responsibility for their own actions. If given the opportunity, we can find reasons, excuses, and justifications for not doing pretty much anything.

If we teach our children that they are to finish what they start, they are to start what they are responsible for and they are to take full responsibility for the things which they are delegated, it will build character and prevent them from growing into adults who blame others for what is ultimately their own situation.

For children to grow into capable adults, they need to learn the art of “owning” what they are held responsible for. It won’t rob them of their childhood because SmartKid Parents know how to do this in age-appropriate ways throughout childhood.

Not by giving them bone and spirit crushing pressures, but by requiring simple and small things to be finished from an early age. It will be an easy lesson if started early and held consistent.

Finishing Brings Success and Satisfaction

I have to tell it like it is. Kids who grow into teenagers who grow into young adults who grow into old adults who are starter finishers will go farther than those who are not. Period.

You may have great ideas and ingenuity but if you can’t follow through with your plan or effectively put into action then you won’t be given many opportunities for advancement. Career advancement is not the goal, but acting honorably and working hard is.

If we let our kids grow into adults who have numerous projects started around them but rarely finish any then we are doing them a disservice. If we let them believe there are no consequences for stopping short of completion then we are basically lying to ourselves and our children.

We run races to win and you can’t win the race if you don’t finish it. Those who are non-finishers yet who are creative and full of ideas can often feel and get overlooked for positions or opportunities to others around them.

You don’t just have to go to class, you have to take the exam. It will be extremely difficult for our children to excel in their callings and careers if they are not accustomed to putting in that extra effort to finish whatever it is they start, be it big or little.

Teaches That “Yes” is “Yes” and “No” is “No”

If our kids know that we will require them to finish or wrap up what projects and initiatives they start, or even what chores and things they take on, they will be careful not to promise what they can’t deliver.

I used to over-promise because I was afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. I wouldn’t fully commit, but I’d say “oh yeah, that sounds great, I will really try to make it, etc.” when I knew deep down I was too busy or just not that into it.

Later, I’d have to say I wasn’t coming and because of my own initial response, I was basically going back on my word. In the last few years, I have started saying “I’m not sure, I’ll let you know” or “yes” or “no” and it has freed me.

I don’t commit to something I know I can’t do because in my book if I say yes without thinking about it then I’m going to make myself do it. If I agree to it fully then I carry it out until completion.

If I agree to cook dinner for someone, if the words come out of my mouth, they go from being thought to being promise and then I do my best to make it happen.

I will raise my children to be careful with their promises and agreements, because ultimately our word, and then the actions that follow our words, are what determine our character and reputation before others.

So How Can We Do This?

When our children are small we can begin to train them on this principle with things such as cleaning their rooms, finishing their meal, doing their chores, putting the dishes away, etc.

Before letting them move on to another activity we can have them clean up the one they just finished.

Before letting them go out and explore the day away in adventure, we can require them to do a few simple household chores. If they can’t do the chores they’ve had all week to do, they can’t go out.

Simple cause and effect that will NOT rob them of their childhood (because you’re not asking a ten-year-old to do your financial planning) but will be instrumental in molding children of character and perseverance who will have the capacity and stretch to see the needs of others and meet them. Not just in word, but in deed.

If you do something 75% and say you’ll come back to it, odds are you never will. That extra hour to get to 100% completion is the difference between someone willing to go the extra mile to keep their word and someone who isn’t. Let’s raise our children to be those who finish what they start, who don’t start unnecessary time wasting activities, but who finish the bi and small tasks set before them.

Let’s raise our children to be those who finish what they start, who don’t start unnecessary time wasting activities, but who finish the big and small tasks set before them.