January 21, 2011
All in the Family
I know I have talked before about children helping out in the home...but a question that someone asked me recently sparked another blog post :)
We teach our children from very young to help out around our home. Why? Because they live here! And because our job as parents is to equip our children for whatever the future may hold for them.
We start chores from the time that our children can follow through on simple instructions. For a toddler it would be to help pick up the toys. When they get a little older their next chore is usually to help set or clean off the dining room table. As they get older it might be sweeping the floor, washing a vehicle, or dusting.
Not only do chores use up some of our children's energy, it also give them a sense of purpose and belonging in our family. When they help out around our home they feel a sense of accomplishment. When they contribute to our family's chores they learn that there is more to life than just playing.
One motto around here is "Work before play." Another one is "If you don't work, you don't eat!" We teach our children that work is a necessary part of life. Nothing gets done if someone doesn't do it! We feel it is very harmful to your child to hand everything to him on a golden platter and not make him work for anything. That usually makes for an ungrateful child who thinks that the world owes him everything. We don't want our children to have this mindset.
Do our children ever have a bad attitude about working? Oh yes!!!! Some of our children can be very outspoken and have huge negative body language when asked to do their jobs, while others can be more inwardly defiant. Both attitudes need to be watched and dealt with. What do we do about bad attitudes while working? We have taught all of our children scriptures about work and will remind them what God says in His word about this important topic. And we hand out consequences for bad attitudes towards work. Often the consequence is......more work. I will tell the one with a bad attitude, "By the attitude you had while doing that job you showed me that you need practice on working with a good attitude. So now I am going to give you another job to do. And if you don't have a good attitude while doing that job, I will keep giving you jobs until your attitude improves." It doesn't usually take more than 1 or 2 jobs before they are "all practiced up"!!!
In teaching your children to work hard and with a good attitude you are not only benefitting yourself, but you are benefitting (Lord willing) a future wife, husband or employer of your child. I will often tell my children that if I do not correct their bad attitudes and work habits, then I have failed to train them to be a good spouse or employee someday. Now that's a goal to work towards :-)