Monday, April 2, 2012

Kids and chores

One of my strongest desires as a mama of boys (who will one day be men) is to instill a really good, strong work ethic into my children. I want them to work hard when they are out on their own, rather than just doing enough to get by. I want them to be helpers, to serve others, to be the ones to step up and say “I’ll do it!” when there is a need for men workers. Men were made to be the workers, the providers, and I want them to be ambitious to do just that. Translation = I don’t want them to be lazy. I have come to the conclusion that teaching them about this is something that is learned over time, not something they can learn in just a few short years. And, like everything else, takes intentional training on my part, and my husband’s too, of course.

Now my 2 year old will help you do anything. His name (Ezra) actually means “helper”, and he lives up to that name, for sure. But Jude on the other hand, who just turned 4 in February, doesn’t like to work. It’s a chore just to get him to do anything. And it’s a battle that usually goes like this:
Me: “Jude, please pick up all the toys in your room and put them in the bins.”
Jude: “I don’t WANT to clean my room!!” (in that high, whiny voice that makes me want to plug my ears and run for the hills)
Thus begins a long, drawn out battle, which usually ends with a somewhat clean room, but one very exhausted Mama.

This sound familiar? Now, I’ve since learned that he gets overwhelmed by tasks that seem too big, like, picking up all the toys in his room. If I break it down, he will (sometimes) do it without fighting me every step of the way. But, other times, he simply doesn’t want to. And here enters the training part of this deal. I have to be intentional about this if I want my kids to be hard workers.

I have to admit, a lot of times I am tempted to just do the easy thing, and either not make them clean at all, or make it easier on them so they don’t have to do so much. Neither of these things are good, and even though I give in to this temptation from time to time, I have to remind myself of the goal here. Do I want to just do what’s easiest for me (and them), or do I want to do my part by putting in the work to try to develop strong character as best I can?

That’s a no-brainer, huh?

The man who married Ross and I (check him out HERE, he’s pretty awesome) has called it 7000 days of intentional parenting, from crib to college. I love this thought, this way of viewing it. I want to do just that. Have 7000ish days of intentional parenting with each of my children. Goh, that sounds like a lot of days, doesn’t it? It really isn’t, though. It goes by so quickly and we, as parents, don’t have that much time with them. Let’s make the time we have with them count!

Oh, right, I was talking about chores. In our house, the only chore I am consistent with is having Jude make his bed every day. That’s it, folks. They will help me pick up the living room when I ask them (which isn’t every day, I confess). But this tells me I need to be better about this. I really need to make them a chore chart. Anyone know where I can get a good one? Since my kiddos don’t read yet, that makes doing the chart thing a little more difficult. Maybe make chore cards with pictures on them? I don’t know, but I am thinking it through and getting a plan in place.

On my own chore issue, I did finally get my laundry room mostly clean and organized, yippee!! Stay tuned to hear about it on Friday!
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1 comment:

  1. I kind of think maybe one consistent chore per day is good for a kid Jude's age. Simon has his duties (keeping room clean, making bed, putting clothes away), and his chores which are monetarily motivated. This has helped alot - and offers a foundation for teaching saving/spending/giving - but Jude may still be too young to appreciate the value of $$ which would mean it wouldn't motivate him much. What about some other sort of structured reward?


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