Hard Working Kids?
How to encourage and model hard work.
Sounds a little funny I think. Hardworking Moms and Dads, sure! But kids?
I'm a teacher at heart. I love to teach and everywhere I have gone and everything I have done in life I have loved to teach. To teach skills, or classes, or about facts of life.
This carries over into motherhood very well. EVERYTHING I do is teaching. Teaching my child how to put on their clothes, teaching them how to use a spoon or fork. Teaching them how to say please or thank you. The list is endless. Parenting is about teaching and training your child in the skills and lessons you want them to have in adulthood.
When my daughters were 4 and 6 I began teaching them how to do their laundry. Little steps like putting their clothes in the washing machine, adding soap, and starting it. How to move the wet, clean clothes over to the dryer and add a dryer sheet. Then teaching them how to fold and put away their clothes. Step by step, layer by layer over the course of several years. My daughters are now 11 and nearly 10 and they can do the whole process independently.
When my middle child was 5 she had some anger issues. She had to deal with some really big things and her fear expressed itself in anger and rage. Along with counseling, I had to teach her helping coping skills, how to express anger, and healthy outlets for anger. I taught and encouraged and she had to do the hard work of applying and improving on her skills. Layer by layer, step by step, over several years and now she knows not only how to deal with her anger but it's not as big of a struggle for her anymore.
How do we create kids with good work ethics that not only hold down a job but can do the hard work to learn life skills such as anger management, or healthy relational skills? We teach hard work in their youth. We model it by being hard workers ourselves and sharing our experiences with them. We come along side them to not take over their work, but help make it a reasonable age-appropriate load.
I want to encourage you Mama, if you have little ones, to start teaching your babies, little by little how to do little tasks, that as they age, become big task. I encourage you to get your kids involved in the jobs you do so that they can not only work hard as adults, but also have the sense of community and teamwork that comes from working together and being involved in a team effort.
Also, Mama, if you teach your babies (kids) now how to work along side you, as they grow, it will be such a joy to you to have them cook with you, clean with you, garden with you, it will not only lighten your load but build wonderful opportunities for conversations and relationship.