"The family that chores together stays together"... The Gentle Giant
Many parents ask us how it is we engage our children in chores so willingly. It usually works that the children want to help us along but it is because we were by their sides choring with them a long time ago. Nothing can frustrate a child more than to give them a to do list while you are doing something else that is not productive as well. They begin to resent chores and even possibly the parents as they feel all on their own.
When we are going to butcher chickens for example we do it together. One chops, one plucks, some clean, some cut up and some bag. It becomes fun before you know it as you are all laughing and occasionally fighting and razzing with one another.
We also try to have a good break in between and have some time together with a good snack and eventually end with a big farm dinner. During the different seasons of chores for example we eat around the seasons, etc. so we look forward to the traditions of a “haying supper” ending with strawberry shortcake etc. or after chicken butchering we have homemade pizza, etc. We look forward to ice cream locally after a hard day’s work in the garden. We take baths and drive into town for a treat. We do take short vacations every now and then even if to a local hotel for an evening so that we can drive back and do chores. We always can stay on our property at our cottage which is a fun and relaxing time as well. And finally but most importantly we do set aside one day a week to fully rest and our family day for this is Sunday.
In this day and age it seems many parents feel they are doing their children a disservice by making them be responsible for work around the home. “Childhood should be fun and later they can work”. There of course is a balance between play and work, however I think we can all see with the shape America is in physically and work ethically this issue is out of balance for a lot of today’s youth. This leads to lazy adults as well.
Now we cannot always be right by their sides during chores. This step is crucial at the beginning process of training time for chores and then occasionally at all ages the children still need Dad and Mom by their sides to work right along with them. . At the beginning training time it is very important be engaging in the jobs right along beside the children. You are teaching them how to work efficiently and how to enjoy it. Eventually you can plan on your children becoming hard workers independently. Before you know it, one day you look and see the fruit of your and their labors, hard working and happy children. Children feel part of a bigger picture as they are responsible and play an important role in the family team. Children can feel devalued when they are not part of the bigger picture of responsibility in the family.