Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Prairie Boot-Camp

Well, it has begun. Grandma Boot Camp is in progress. My oldest daughter, her husband, and their son (who is the same age as Abigail) have been living with us for a couple of weeks now. I've been loving it. Abigail now has someone her age to play with and Micah is thriving in the changes.

Christy & JR (my daughter & son-in-law) are wonderful with Micah. He has accepted the changes very well and is bonding to them beautifully. JR is Micah's buddy and Micah seeks him out quite often. Christy is planning to do daycare in their home when they get their own place. She wants to specialize in tending special needs children - something that is much needed in our area.

After the novelty of having a new child to play with wore off for Abigail & David (my grandson), they began taking on each other's bad habits as well as developing an attitude of entitlement. Well, that doesn't fly in our home. Time for Prairie Boot Camp to commence!

The first lesson was the kids being told that they now will have daily chores. They were not too keen on this, but we are moving forward. The next topic was that the phrases "I want..." and "I don't want to..." are no longer in their vocabulary. Their new favorite phrases will be "What can I do to help?" and "What do you need done?"

We are not asking too much from the kids. Their chores are age appropriate and well within their ability. They are working along side of us. If they choose to not do their chores, then there are direct and immediate consequences. No excuses are permitted.

Gradually, they are learning that the amount of playtime that they have is increased if they work quickly. "Wool-gathering" instead of doing their chores results in less playtime. It has been great to see them realising that the work goes faster when they work together. They are also becoming more respectful in their attitudes.

Now, before I get the obnoxious comments about harming kids by having them actually do chores, let me state this. We are trying to get a small family farm going. These kids are being raised as farm kids. Learning from a young age that good work ethics is NOT harmful to a child. There are too many people already in our society who are lazy and think that they should be handed things the easy way. Howe often have you seen people do the bare minimum to earn their pay while others work hard to make sure things are done & done right? We have all complained at one time or another about it. By raising the kids to have a strong work ethic, they will become contributors and not slackers.

Are the kids thrilled at having to do chores? Not always. They are learning however, some very valuable lessons that will benefit them later on in life.


Rita Mosquita said...

I grew up, from the age of 6 on, being raised by grandparents. For one grandmother, I was her "go get" and "go do" person. My siblings and I have never had priviledge, but have had to work hard and have been successful. On the other hand, I have cousins who were coddled, spoiled, and for whom we had to do for and give up our meager things when they whimpered that they wanted. They have not been as successful. One, in her late 40s, has never married and really doesn't understand why she has to work. These are her actual words. The more successful of them is quite controlling and self serving.
I agree with you and your endeavors. Best wishes!

Linda said...

"Now, before I get the obnoxious comments about harming kids by having them actually do chores..."

Not from me you won't! What a wonderful job you are doing!!!

Stephanie said...

Good for you! I hope the extra help and company is good for you as your hubby is out on the road:)

Many prayers and blessings

Anonymous said...

No nasty comments from me. I am glad to see more parents raising their kids with good work ethics. Plus, I know you love your kids. I am a little envious of you and your wood stoves, though, LOL. My insurance will not allow them to be installed in my house and the heater stays on 61 and parts of my house are down in the low 50s. Doesn't bother me, but I have a young mother staying with me and I can't get her taught to keep her son well dressed in layers

Anonymous said...

She is slowly learning. Anyway, I hope you and your family have a Blessed Christmas. DeeKnitter

Scarlett said...

Oh it so irritates me when people act like I am terrible to have my kids do chores! I have had several people tell me I am using them as slaves and they should be allowed to just play! Hogwash!!! They need to be taught daily living. Sure there is some learning to play, but it is our job as parents to teach them. You are doing great.

Darlene said...

God bless you all and thank you so much for not just "giving birth", but also for "parenting", which seems to be an unpopular occupation at this time. I had to chuckle when my 9-year-old came home telling about a kid who had a fit right in front of the school and went to class complaining about how his mom "just bosses him around all the time". My son quickly piped up and said "Helloooo, she is not bossing you around, it's called "parenting". Out of the mouths of babes. LOL Take care!!

Greg and Donna said...

Good for you. A little work or a lotta work for that matter is good for children, helps build character, and keeps them busy. There is less time to get into trouble if you are busy. Its nice you have someone to keep you company and help you out with your husband on the road with his job. Oh, my kids never say "I'm bored" anymore...it results in an icky chore such as cleaning all the toilets, or something equally obnoxious. Cleaning is on their regular Friday home ec day, but special cleaning is assigned to "bored" children. It worked and continues to work!

Anonymous said...

I believe you are raising your children the way God would have us to.We have a small family farm,six of my children are still at home,and all have their chores to do,come rain,sun,sleet,or snow. Robin