Saturday, November 19, 2016

Family Work

Eew, that's almost a dirty phrase isn't it? It's so much easier to just wash and fold the laundry yourself. And Heaven forbid you let the little guys put away their own laundry! They get them in the wrong drawers, they unfold them, half of the clothes end up back in the laundry a few hours later!!!

Sometimes even shopping can be a chore!

Did you know that housework is also a major source of contention between the sexes? One study found that six months into marriage house hold chores and the disagreement over who should do them was the top source of conflict between husband and wife... and it remained that way even after five years!!!

So why? WHY should we teach our kids to work. Isn't it better to throw on Paw Patrol for the tiny's while you scrub the floor and the dishes? Heck, it's even easier to hire a babysitter or EVEN BETTER hire someone to do the work for you. Ya, I like that idea.

And yet, I still give my kids chores. I still teach them to sweep, mop, scrub toilets, make their own beds, change diapers, do dishes, help with dinner, babysit, and tidy. Why am I torturing myself like this?

Here's why. In today's society we believe that an ideal life is work free. This idea conflicts with what we learn in the scriptures.The Lord cursed the ground in Adam and Eve's day so that they would have to fight thorns and thistles which would cause the new couple to labor "for [their own] sake." He wanted them to have to work, to til the land, to find and provide food.

Family work also provides endless opportunities for us to find and fill our other family members needs!


It's also true that when we work together as a family we build stronger bonds. Scrubbing pots with your sister while chatting about your days can bring you closer together (unless one of them hides in the bathroom until the scrubbing is done). My kids may not admit this to you, but when I ask them what their favorite part of the day is, their answers are often "Scrubbing the floor with the family", "making dinner with Mommy", "Helping Daddy move boxes", "Helping Daddy at the dump", etc.

Here are pictures of Liam and Ezra washing, peeling, and cooking the potatoes for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. What's really cool about these potatoes is that Ezra grew them himself, with love, from our backyard to our kitchen table. I love it.

Even the babies love to help... especially when we're baking and they get to lick the cake batter of the beaters!

Now, family work isn't all roses, as I mentioned before. W have a complainer or two in our home and while that whining is super annoying in the short term, that child is growing character and building relationships. Family work allows us to rely on divine attributes that we are trying to develop such as love, mercy, patience, submissiveness, and a willingness to sacrifice for others.

President Thomas S. Monson said, "Mothers, share household duties. It is often easier to do everything yourself than to persuade your children to help, but it is so essential for them to learn the importance of ding their share".

Small tasks allow small kids to help as well. Hand a child a duster, teach them to fold wash cloths, scrub walls, put the silverware away, etc. There are so many little things that need to get done, there should be something fitting for each child. Insisting that children help when they would rather no is a way of telling them that they are needed, and essential in making the family function.

So, that's why our family works together. If you walk by on the right day you might even see my boys beating bathroom mats with a broom to get the dust out, or pulling weeds. And of course you may even see a couple cuties in princess aprons!

Edited: 12/10/2016 - Ideas and quotes were enhanced by the text book Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives. Edited by Alan UJ. Hawkins, David C. Dollahite, and Thomas W. Draper. I really reccommend that everyone purchase and READ this book. It's so great.

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