Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Teaching Kids Good Work Ethics

"These boys amaze me.

Each morning they seem to have grown taller than they were when we said good-night the evening before.

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Each morning, not only do they seem to be physically taller, but they seem to be maturing right before my eyes.

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Each morning, these three boys get out of bed and do a man's job before breakfast.

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Currently we have a litter of Golden Retriever puppies. Each morning, these three boys take eleven puppies to the outside pen so they can do their duties and then they clean out the big kennel by themselves. This is not a job for wimps, or the weak of stomach. Puppies make messes.....and eleven puppies make BIG messes. These boys make sure the puppies and the kennels are clean, all messes are thoroughly cleaned up, and the puppies needs are all met.

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These three boys bring Mama into the big kennel to nurse her puppies, and then they feed all eleven of her offspring and give them fresh water. They feed our grown Goldens their food, as well.

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These three boys come in after doing these chores and they are responsible to clean out the wood stove, and set up the fire for the day.

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I think when boys do a man's job, they deserve some recognition.

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I think they deserve a hot breakfast and maybe even a hot cup of coffee....or tea....or cocoa.

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These three boys are very capable and they are learning important job skills that they can use throughout their lives.

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These three boys are developing a strong work ethic and they are proud of a job well done.

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They feel good about themselves after they accomplish difficult tasks.

Do they always WANT to go outside and do these difficult chores? Certainly not. Do they ever complain? They certainly have.

As a mom, I have prayed about how to motivate them.....and how to encourage them and this is why their sisters and I try to have a hot breakfast ready for them when they come in. This is why I try to join them in some of their jobs so we can talk, laugh, and work shoulder to shoulder and have fun while we are at it. This is why we switch jobs randomly too. We try to avoid burnout and give them opportunity to obtain skills in a variety of areas so they will be well rounded and capable of taking care of an entire household inside and out by the time they are ready to leave this nest. Sometimes the girls will do the puppy chores while the boys cook breakfast with me. or I'll go outside with a couple of boys and leave a couple of them inside to help with breakfast. Sometimes the girls or I will build the fire in the morning, but on most mornings these three boys embrace the outdoor chores and enjoy coming inside to a breakfast ready and waiting for them.

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These three boys enjoy helping their Dad stock pile wood in the spring, for the following fall/winter season. They love watching as Dad cuts down trees on our property and they enjoy helping chop and stack wood with him.

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I love watching them from the kitchen window, or heading outside to help. It's great exercise, fresh air, and fun working together.

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This has been an especially busy season for our family. With a huge litter of puppies, there is plenty of extra work. This has made it necessary for the whole family to pull together and pick up the slack that is left while the puppy chores are getting accomplished. This means the inside chores the boys usually help with, are left to those of us who stay inside.

Our girls have done an amazing job helping out with extra laundry that the boys usually do, extra cleaning chores that the boys don't have time for right now, and all of the kids have been flexible at switching jobs from time to time.

These girls are highly capable of preparing a delicious meal, whipping up a batch of tasty cookies, donuts, and other tantalizing treats, deep cleaning the house, organizing, and they are excellent with children. They could easily keep this household going without me.

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As a family, we need to be a team.

It doesn't just take a mother or a father to keep things running smoothly.

Any time there is more than one person occupying a home, there needs to be team work.

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Proverbs 6:6-8





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Proverbs 20:11

"Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right."

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If we learn how to have fun together as we work, amazing things can get done.

Sadly, I haven't been a very good example of this over the years as I get stressed and overwhelmed by a large "to do" list, but this has also been the very thing that has stretched and grown me and illuminated areas that need to be changed in the way I function as a wife and mom. I can't tell you how many times I have had to apologize to my family for being grumpy and driving them....instead of coming alongside them and finding joy in completing tasks together.

It's never too late. Fortunately my family is very forgiving. We all have to be forgiving. We have to exercise grace with each other because, let's face it....we all say and do things that need to be forgiven. I'm so thankful they love me anyway and continue to support me. We need to give this to one another, right?

This little man amazed me this morning. When I woke up, he was already outside. He took all eleven puppies out to the outdoor kennel, and cleaned the big kennel by himself. He then returned the puppies to the big kennel, came inside and cleaned out the wood stove and built the fire. He said that since his brothers have done the puppy chores a few times without him, he wanted to give them a break this morning so they could sleep a little longer.

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Our kids are typical. They argue and fight. They complain about work. They procrastinate and so do I, but we are working on these areas, praying together and for one another and it's exciting to see the kids pull together and serve each other. This isn't the norm....and that's why I am writing this post. I want to encourage these choices in my kids and I want them to see how much their willingness to do the tough stuff blesses those around them.

We're all learning that working together can make the work painless....and that we can find joy and fulfillment through hard work and a job well done.

Proverbs 12:11




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