Good parents make their kids work. It’s as simple as that. When kids don’t work they end up being spoiled brats who aren’t equipped to live in the real world.
(Gee, could I be any more blunt?!)
Every week our kids have jobs: they need to clean their rooms, keep their bathroom picked up, do garbage duty. And then there’s the dreaded “dog poop” job. Before the weekend, one of our kids is assigned the job of picking up the grossness in our back yard. It’s one of the worst jobs we have in our home, but somebody’s got to do it (and it ain’t going to be the parents!).
Our kids are pretty good about working. We’ve given them age-appropriate jobs from the time they were very young, so they know how to work. But every once in a while, I notice that a child needs a little extra encouragement. When her shoulders slump. When she’s had a bad week. When she’s not feeling well.
And that’s when I step in and work alongside my child. (Remember, this doesn’t happen every week. If it did, I’d just be bailing out my kid from doing the work that’s expected of her. This is a special exception that’s reserved for every once in a while.)
Recently we painted Julia’s bedroom and, as you know, a painting project involves lots more than just putting paint on the wall. It involves cleaning out closets and dresser drawers. It means washing curtains and hanging them back up again. In this case, it means an entire room makeover.
Rather than leave the closet cleaning to my daughter (an overwhelming job to be sure!), I will be pitching in this week and working alongside her. Sure, it might be easier to do it myself (or to just have her do it alone), but our working together does a couple of different things.
First, it encourages my child. The job might feel just too big for her, so my helping her shows her that we can tackle it together.
Second, it gives us some time together. Who knows what she might open up about while we’re sorting through old papers and Barbie dolls? It might give me another opportunity to listen. ☺
And finally, working together allows me to show my daughter how to do the job right. If left to do it herself, most things would just get piled up in a corner again rather than sorted and put away properly. I have the chance to model the right way to clean a closet so that, hopefully, next time she’ll have a better idea of what’s expected.
Question: Is there a job you can do with your child this week? How do you encourage your children to work hard?