Friday, April 13, 2012

Farm-fresh Friday: Manual labor brings a family together...whether they like it or not...

   Having a kid means having an extra set of hands for chores that isn't allowed to quit, and can be paid in LEGOs.  Now before you report me to social services, hear me out...

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,


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