Kids are amazing, aren’t they?
They can single-handedly figure out the latest video game without reading the instructions once. They can memorize the statistics of every Pokémon character ever created. And don’t even get me started on their imagination. Kids are notorious for developing plot lines that even Tim Burton would be envious of.
So why do we underestimate the capability of our children?
Maybe you’re better at this than me, but a few years back, I realized I was selling my kids short in the chores department. A revamping of our age-appropriate chores and we were back on track, yet there was something missing. You see, kids can be assigned a chore and do that same chore every day, but the key to really helping your children become capable and hardworking is to provide them with real life skills.
How is that done, exactly?
It’s simple. You give them a project and let ’em figure it out.
I know, I know, it can sound a little mean at first, but have you ever helped somebody lay tile, and then laid tile all by yourself? Big difference, huh? I would be willing to bet when you had to do it yourself you learned a heck of a lot more than when you were just a helper.
Now, I’m not saying your kids need to be laying tile (although I’m sure some kids would be great at it). But if you look around, you’ll find that there are hundreds of little jobs around the house that your kids can develop real-life skills from. BONUS: You don’t have to hire a handyman to do them.
For our various jobs around the farm, we’ve been able to let our kids dive in and develop skills they didn’t know they had. We of course are around to help and guide them when using any heavy equipment. But the brains of the project comes straight from our 10 & 12 year old. And it’s an amazing thing to watch.
Here are just a few of our projects that the kids took over:
What about payment? Should kids get paid for work?
We definitely like to reward our kids for hard work, but it’s much more important to us THE KIND of work our children do. If they waste time, complain, or fight, they don’t get paid. But if they can try their best and have a good attitude, that effort gets rewarded in the payment of exactly $5 per hour.
Yes, it’s less than minimum wage. But we gotta figure in taxes, don’t we? It’s the cost of working in the real world, man.
We’ve noticed a HUGE shift in our kids’ confidence and capability. We’ve seen them put together an ENTIRE trampoline the wrong way and have to take it apart and put it back together again because someone (*cough* Ethan* cough*) didn’t want to read the instructions. We’ve seen sweaty faces, dirty clothes, and late night laughs. We’ve seen relationships strengthened, and tired bodies grateful for a shower and a cold glass of lemonade.
In the end, we’ve seen that our kids are capable of much more than we give them credit for. Aren’t yours?