Saturday, December 15, 2012

Priesthood Session

I haven't done well with the last few sessions of General Conference. I always have the idea that somehow I'll get around to reading all of the conference talks. Josh reads one every day when he sits down at his desk to work, but I don't have a desk. So I need to be more creative. Instead, while Guy is eating breakfast every morning, my plan is to read a conference talk while he reads his scriptures. Brethren, We Have Work To Do was given by Elder Christofferson, and the first few paragraphs shook me up a bit. Go take a look and read them, and then come back. I am the primary caregiver for my children; while I want them to learn as much as they can from their father and the other men in their lives, they have primarily female teachers and leaders. I need to support my boys becoming men. And that means teaching them the value of work. I am more than happy to do all the work for my kids, because it means no whining, no unacceptable executions, and my kids get to play--which they love. I'm becoming more convinced that I'm a clown for thinking that's anything other than a lousy idea. So please tell me how you teach your children the value of work. Because I'm thinking that emptying the silverware from the dishwasher just isn't enough real work for a 6-year-old.


  1. I had a giant comment written and then it was lost. Arg!!!
    I kept saying amen as I heard this talk (I download them and listen on itunes). I love reading child development books about gender. It's fascinating.
    This is one of society's biggest problems IMO. No one wants to work (self included).
    I pay my kids to do chores, but that only works when they want money. He has to help with the chickens or he knows I'll give them to my neighbor.
    I think requiring our son to go to service projects with us has been good. He's helped with roofing projects, fallen trees, moving and simple chair setups. He's usually the clean up kid. He feels proud and enjoys it for about 30 minutes and then complains and we get to teach him that service means you stay even when you don't want to. Sometimes he gets a reward (donut, video game time) and sometimes not. But I can see he's learning to think of others and sometimes even likes doing the work.

  2. Jared instilled a mantra in our home since Lukas was little-- first work, then play. It seems to work every time. Boy wants to play. Doesn't mean it is always done happily. I used to have arguments w/ him over video watching til I geniously (lol) thought of a way to tell Lukas yes on my terms. He earns 10 smiley faces and he gets to choose what he watches: Mr. Rogers, or a german cartoon, or "How it's made". So now when he asks, I say with a smile, "Oh! Do you have ten smiley faces?" and often he'll run to do chores instead of even looking at the chart. Now, I won't lie, the chores are easy: brush teeth, get dressed and put jammies on bed aren't exactly changing my cleaning universe, but he's three. His other jobs are setting the table, and putting toys away. I offer a chance or two to set the table, but then I do it myself, thus no smileys earned and boy is he ticked. Opportunities lost for reward, and I am glad he's learning that. He also LOOOOOVES to do service projects. One of his first was Mormon helping hands doing some landscaping, and he loves to look at bugs and such, and Jared had him by him (18 mo. old...) looking at worms as he "helped". Since then, he loves to come with, feel important and help out. It's expected. It always comes before play. It's a big deal for me, since I worked a job since I was 12- a paper route, and literally haven't stopped since then except for my non-monetary paying mom job. We celebrate in jobs well done, and find things that are important to him as the natural reward. "When we finished vacuuming, we can go to the park. We can leave sooner when you pick up the floor so I can vaccuum faster" Now, having said all this, don't think there aren't ever tantrums, etc here. But I do notice how much he loooooves to help people- even his nursery teacher. Oh, and our family rules include it, incognito: 1. Soft Hands. 2. Loving Words, 3. Listen & Obey, 4. We help each other.

    I think there's a book out there I deparately need to buy/borrow from Sister Boyack that has tons of things to help your child learn to work, starting with age appropriate jobs at age 3. Can't wait to find it and put kiddo to work!