December 06, 2011

Why should kids work?

I promised a few weeks ago, when I shared our fantastic chore system, more writing on kids and work. 

Hopefully, you subscribe to the 'better late than never' philosophy...if not, well, um...I'm moving on.

So, the question today is, 'why should kids do chores?' or 'why should children work?'.

Really, I could simply say to refer to the book of Proverbs.  There are more than a few nuggets on how God created our bodies to work.  But that wouldn't be necessarily super helpful so I suppose I shall expound a bit more.

It has surprised me, over the last few years, to discover how many parents do not think their kids should have to do jobs around their home.  Possibly, these parents felt over-worked as kids, themselves and fear they will do the same to their children.  Maybe they don't want to put in the effort to teach their kids how to do some tasks. And there are even more adults who simply believe 'kids are kids' and shouldn't have to do more than their schoolwork.

We don't believe in any of that. Period.

God made all of us to work.  And parents were given children for many reasons and one of the purposes of childhood is to learn how to be a productive adult and the parents are the teachers in this endeavor.  And last time I checked, productiveness requires a fair amount of effort, or work.

So, I hope my children learn to be comfortable with working their bodies physically in many ways, including with tasks that can feel meaningless and redundant, although necessary, around the house (really...who likes to vacuum up a floor only to see it dirty a few hours later). 

In addition, our daughters need to learn to be good keepers of their future homes and chores are a first step in that direction.

We also believe that required work helps produce a certain amount of character and attitude improvement. 

Ryan works in middle management.  I could write for hours (except that I have work to do) about the stories he comes home with which demonstrate an adult's lack of determination to simply suck it up and go get the job done.  How sad would it be to carelessly develop a worker like that under our own roof? 

I am not saying that by having my children do chores they will turn into future five star employees.  I am simply saying that chores are a beginning step in developing the 'work' part of their character.  And we find that to be Biblical.

"Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." Proverbs 10:4

"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." Proverbs 14:23

"One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys." Proverbs 18:9

"Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry." Proverbs 19:15
Everything is good in moderation and with consideration.  Requiring children to work is no exception.  Next time I intend to tackle how we have our children working.

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