Sunday, August 10, 2008

Taking care of kids, raising adults

Have I ever mentioned how much I love to put my kids to work?

Really. I love it. From the day they were old enough to have a chore, I gave them one. As soon as the day came that they were able to help me do something, they got to learn how to do it on their own. Yes, it always takes a bit longer to reach the goal, but the look on their face as they begin to realize that they were the ones that got the job done. The look is priceless. The feeling they get when they know, beyond a
shadow of a doubt, that it was they that made that bed, or cleaned that tub, or made that just empowers them. They feel like they can take on the world.

I remember the first time that K made cookies on her own. She had the recipe out, the ingredients all ready to go, the oven preheated...the whole deal. She was so proud of herself when she pulled that first tray from the oven. I, as the mama, was even more proud. See, I believe that work is something you learn how to do. And when you teach your kids how to do it you are preparing them for their life as an adult. Giving them the skills they need to know in order to navigate themselves thru many situations, but also giving them the invaluable gifts of pride and dedication and self worth. Letting them see that they can do things on their own.
Letting them see that mistakes will be made, but that they can also be corrected and learned from. So that next time, the job may go a little easier.

As my kids navigate thru the day there are few things that they ask for help with. They would rather try it out themselves and see if they can do it first. Then, after they have tried a few times to get things right, well, then they may ask if I can give them any suggestions. Any helpful hints on how to get the job done.

This weekend was one of those real proud mama moments. The kids asked if they could go out and help S build the fence for the backyard. By all means, I say, knock yourself out. I have to say I was almost on the verge of some tears to see the kids using the power tools all on their own and working together so easily. Talking things thru when they saw a potential problem.

It made my day. It made all those times that things took just a little bit longer so worth it. So very worth it.


Beneath the Mask said...

Not just because I'm a proud gramma, but I can vouch for the wonderful gift you have given these kids. I've never seen kids who could actually find something to do when told to do so. They're incredibly creative. Yes, they fight, and they're well versed in all aspects of holding their own when it comes to sibling rivalry, but they also work amazingly well together. It's not like K is in charge all the time because she's older - J is an active part of what's going on and can come up with ideas in his own right. Everything you've worked so hard to do, Frugal Mom, shows. Be proud!

Mim said...

Power tools, huh? I just try not to watch when that happens here. Or when they help cut wood or any of that stuff. I'm glad they are learning how to do it, it just scares me to watch their fingers near the cutting machines. Good job K & J! Great job, Mama!

Gnightgirl said... there any chance your kids would like to learn how to do siding? Or, ummm....installing cabinets? Tiling? Taping and painting?

They can help us. Don't thank us. It is our gift to you.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Look at K pound those nails in! Look at J wield that drill/screwdriver with authority. I'm proud and I don't even know them! :-)
Burning question on my mind, however, is where is G. I just KNOW he would've liked to have been a part of the power tool stuff! :-)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderfully written post Maude. You must be so proud. When I grow up, I wanna be a mom just like you! :)

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Now, if I'm not mistaken, Maude, Agnes just inferred that you are OLD.
(tee hee, cackle, cackle...) -Dorothy

frugalmom said...

beneath the mask: Thanks for the kind words. Ill make sure to think of them the next time the kids are holding their own!

mim: It doesnt scare me...

gnightgirl: made a funny.

Danni: The kids will be so happy to hear that you are proud of them. G? He was in bed...supposed to be taking a nap. He, however, had other things on his mind. The nap was never taken....he just laid in there jabbering away....if only he knew what he had missed!

Agnes: Dear, sweet Agnes. I can only say that I am so happy that I have had Dorothy to look up to for inspiration and guidance. Isnt it lovely when you have elders that you can speak so freely with?

Anonymous said...

So true, so true, What would we do without Dorothy's wisdom and guidance?! ;)