Monday, 20 April 2015

Episode Thirty Eight: Teach Them A Chore

Hi again Team!

Wow, I've been meaning to do this idea for a long time now but have never got around to writing about it. I don't know if you're anything like me - but if you are, the images below make you feel a certain way. Like a father teaching his son to shave, something about letting your kid push the lawnmower around just pulls at the manly heart strings. Manly ones, of course. I'm not really that sort of guy but there's something about the noise, the petrol fumes and the danger that makes me love pushing the lawnmower around the yard. To share that with my middle boy is a dream come true.

First I should make two disclaimers: One) We borrowed this lawnmower and it was the quietest lawnmower I've ever heard, which is why neither of us are wearing hearing protection in these photos. Please use common sense when letting your children use machinery. Two) We had to borrow this lawnmower because we have people mow our lawns on a fortnightly basis for us. It was just that with the Christmas holidays they were on a break and our lawn needed doing.

I knew as soon as I ripped the cord on the mower that my son would come running out asking if he could have a go. He's only five but I thought with some supervision and instruction it would be no problem and I knew he would enjoy it so much. So away we went! I got him started on the grass strip down the centre of our driveway and then I turned the mower off. I talked him through all the parts of the mower and also lifted it up and showed him the blade and explained why he should never, ever put his hand in or under there. I then told him the story of the one-armed lawnmower repairman who lived in my town when I was growing up. True fact! 

From there we got the mower started and away he went. Sure, mowing the lawns isn't a chore we do ourselves but it is something that contributes to making our house look good and function well. There are so many things that we as caregivers do to keep the house running. There is something to be said about introducing these to your children. They don't have to take them on straight away, but an awareness of them is a healthy thing. I certainly don't want to raise children who think the toilet cleans itself or expects clean washing to just appear in their drawers.

It's really hard to know when you should get your children contributing to the household jobs and what you should give them. I'm really interested to hear what your children do and at what age. For comparison to my own children, mainly. I grew up having to do a lot for myself and I'm often stuck between wanting to pass on that same skill set but also allow them to have a easier upbringing than I did. Very hard to find the balance, don't you think?

Have fun!

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