Time again for my weekly column from the paper.
I grew up in a rural area, on a farm with plenty of room to roam, and plenty to keep our hands busy. From the time I was little, I was encouraged to help out on the farm, from feeding calves to driving the truck or tractor while dad threw bales off the back. Blood, sweat and tears was a reality, it was the rhythm of my life, everyone worked, everyone helped and things got done. Your family was a team and hard work always paid off.
I don’t know if kids today are learning the same lesson. Its something that I think about as I realize that my kids are growing up much quicker than I expected. They do not understand the concept of getting up early to do something they do not have an immediate reward for. They don’t understand the idea that getting things done right the first time saves time. They do not have chores to do every day, and I find the ones that they do have require a reminder.
I can understand the reasoning of tired parents, who work 40 hours a week or more just to make ends meet. You are tired from your day and the last thing you want to do is to fight with your kids on cleaning rooms, taking out the trash or feeding the dog. It is more of a fight as the kids get older and they want to express their independence. However, is it in the interest of our future adults to make their lives so easy they have to depend on us?
I take giving chores seriously in my house. I do not want to be a housemaid to my children all of my life. If the chores are not completed, rewards are taken away. Things like TV, games and phone calls are severely limited. I don’t expect the kids to clean the entire house, but basic things like picking up after themselves, throwing a load of laundry in the wash, and keeping their room clean are all things that they should be responsible for. By the time they are older, I believe they will thank me for it.