Do a search on “how to get kids to do chores” and you will get a lot of suggestions. You will get many variations on chore charts, and reward systems and the list goes on. These are all great ideas and I’ve used many of them. But today I realized that perhaps the best solutions are the easiest and were always right in front of us.
We have outside chores that need to be done everyday. In the middle of the winter, they just aren’t any fun. Who wants to bundle up to head out to the barn, or haul water, or stack firewood? I sure don’t, and I’m the momma! Today I asked my son Isaac to help me out. He was thrilled to be able to help momma out. We bundled up and headed to the barn. He chattered incessantly as we left tracks in the snow on the way to the barn. He helped find scissors so we could cut the baling twine on the hay bale. He helped me push the sled full of firewood. He gave me practical seven year old wisdom on all the little jobs we were working on. He gave me a little peek into his brain and the things that make him tick.
Could it be that our children are just like us? Perhaps they like to work with someone instead of doing the job alone! We, as humans, love community. We love to be together. Every job is easier when we are working with someone else. I think it’s important for children to learn to just do a job, and do it by themselves. But we miss a great opportunity if we never take the time to work with our children.
When we work with them, we teach them by our example.
We take the time to get to know them better.
We fulfill our children’s basic need to be with people.
We make the job easier for both of us.
We enjoy our children’s unique personalities.
We show our children that they are valuable to our daily family operations.
Have you worked with your children lately? Instead of sending them off on their own, do the next chore with them. You might even feel the desire to “whistle while you work.”
As you work with your children, be sure to take the time to properly teach them how to do each job. They will be grateful as they get older and move into the world on their own.
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