Doing manual labor forces families to spend time together. It might not be as fun as a family trip to an amusement park, but it teaches the whole family a lesson that can't be learned anywhere else but at home. It allows kids to see the work that goes into maintaining a house, or a garden plot, or a chicken coop, and the rewards that come from the hard work. Want a warm house? Help me bring in firewood (as pictured above). And you know what? It turned out to be a wicked lot of fun for The Kid to get to push the wheel barrow around. Who knew, right?
Now, I can tell you flat out that a 7-year-old doesn't make for the most efficient firewood stacker. I could probably stack it all faster on my own, but I've had some of the coolest conversations with my kid while doing chores, and I wouldn't trade that for any of the time I could have saved by doing the work myself.
I'm also going to let you in on a scandalous secret that 7-year-olds around the country will probably all hate me for telling their parents...
Kids will actually start enjoying chores if you let them. If you make it a "chore" to do chores, then they'll hate you for it forever. But if you make it into a lesson of cause-and-effect, they'll thank you for it... someday. My kid is certainly not the poster child for motivation, or for self-starting chores, but once started, the satisfaction on his face for accomplishing a grown-up task on his own is pretty awesome.
Thanks for stopping by,