Someone recently made a comment to me about people these days not wanting to work which caused me to ponder. The conversation revolved around having no interest in purchasing and raising meat rabbits because of the work involved. I was shocked because two does and a buck can produce an average of 300 pounds of meat a year! Now to John and I with a young family that was very interesting as we realized raising rabbits will supplement a lot of our meat! It is a no brainer to us. Are they work? Sure. But what isn't work on a homestead? The person whom started the conversation went on to say how it is so much easier to go to the store, purchase your food and let that be it. I agree, it is way easier! But…do you know what that animal was fed?
Back to my topic of a nonworking generation. How am I raising my children? I am responsible to teach them a work ethic. Will it be 1.) Don’t worry, if I put it off long enough mommy will do it. 2.) I don’t have to even bother doing work, mommy never asks me. 3.) I'll start it but mommy will want it done a little better so she will come in and finish it for me. or 4.) I better get my work done so I can move on to play faster.
I was raised with a few mottos "work before play" and "work hard, play hard" It is ingrained into me. I am a go getter. I see something that needs done, it will get done. If I make a list, that list will get done, even if it means an all nighter (drives John CRAZY!!!!).
I have come to the conclusion, I had to start teaching my children how to work. Then I realized, they want to! They want to learn! They want to be involved… but am I letting them? To be completely transparent, it would be way faster and much easier to do all the work myself. It would get done the way I want it done and it would get done quickly. But, what does that teach my children? How does that make them feel, self-worth? The sense of accomplishment of doing a good job at something? Of finishing a project. I want them to be proud of their work. I want them to be someone willing to go the extra mile. I want them to do their best for the Lord and give Him their best.
My children are involved in all areas of this homestead and life we live. They are able to plant seeds in the garden. They feed animals. They do household chores. They are right alongside of us doing this life together. Do they always like it? Nope. But let me ask you a question. Do you like the work you have to do? I don’t always enjoy it. So why set them up for failure if we portray that everything in life is fun? They have to learn some time, so why not now? Why not when they are young? One of our daily chores is the floor in the house. They take turns vacuuming. One child will do the rug and one child the hardwood. Is it done perfectly as I would do it? No, I don’t have super kids who are able to spotless clean like I would, but, I have some pretty amazing kids that clean the floor each day and are learning to do their chores with a good attitude. (And I figure that if it is done each day than odds are pretty high that most areas will get done and eventually the whole floor will be clean. =)
So let me ask a few questions I think about when I work with my children…
- Are you willing to take the time to teach them a good work ethic? Like it or not, you are teaching them a work ethic one way or another. Which one do you want to teach?
- Are you willing to stick with it to train and work along side of them as they learn and need trained?
- Are you willing to be proud of them and encourage them along the way? Helping them strive for excellence without demeaning them.
Join with us as we try to train a new generation to be willing to work and strive for excellence in all they do. Have fun on this journey with your little people. You will be amazed at all the areas your children can be involved in with you. Be creative and enjoy!