We had three of our grandsons spend two nights with us this past week.
We had a great time and I tried not to spoil them TOO much. We always have our grandchildren do “jobs” when they stay with us, before they get to play.
It has worked so far…they keep coming back.
Their job this time was picking up weeds after I pulled the weeds up. (I pull the weeds because I want the flowers to remain.) They did it very well and then they got to play.
We have a very small creek (it should really be refered to as a “branch”) that is overflow from our spring. It is a boy magnet! After their job, they love playing in the water which is not very deep, but it is wet and muddy. Just right for young boys. They also rode bikes, played baseball, and ran around on the old logging trails that criscross through the woods.
We are so blessed to have a place where our grandchildren can play. But it is also important that they know how to work. Their parents all require them to do certain chores at home. Yet we also want them to realize that work is important, even when away from home.
If we don’t require our children to help with chores, we send a very dangerous message – “someone ELSE will do it for you.”
We required our own children to weed a row in the garden before we went swimming in the summer. They did not always like it – but it helped them learn the importance of work.
(Is this why none of them raise their own gardens now?)
It is important to balance work with play. Some helpful ideas are –
- work first, then play….that way children won’t be “too tired” to work, or it may get dark
- make sure the job fits the age of the child…. painting the house may be too much for a 5 year old
- work along with the children…..don’t send them off to do it alone
- don’t give them a job to do you wouldn’t do yourself….there are child labor laws in the USA
- brag on their positive efforts…..encourage follow through until the job is complete
- take pictures of them working…..just like you take pictures of their play
- celebrate the end result!
Ephesians 6:6-8 (NLT)
6 Try to please them (your master/boss/parents) all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. 7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
Our grandsons were very proud of the work they did and we were pleased that they genuinely helped us. Helping our children and grandchildren learn the satisfaction of a job well done is a blessing that will benefit them their whole lives.