Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday -- Teaching Kids to Work

This will be a different Thankful Thursday post. For the last few weeks, I've been working with the children on learning some new jobs and on further mastering the ones they already know. As all of you moms know, this takes incredible patience -- something that I am not known for! This teaching process has made me realize how very much I have to be thankful for.

1) That I have children to teach. There are many people out there, friends that I have, who would love to have children, yet the Lord has not blessed them with any. How often do I complain throughout the daily grind about the ones that I have?

2) That I am able to teach them. This is a multi-faceted one. I am thirty-one weeks pregnant. Many who are at this stage are unable to function on a daily basis because of prescribed bed rest, sickness, tiredness, etc. I am not struggling with these. I have much to be thankful for. Also, ignoring the pregnancy, I am thankful to have my health. With the heart issue that I've had, I've had plenty of opportunity to reflect upon what it could be like. Even though I'd like an occasional break, I wouldn't want to be forced to take it easy all the time or limit my activity. I'm thankful that I'm able to stay home. I wouldn't have any of the time to teach them these skills that I believe are necessary if I wasn't home all day with them. Again, there can be frustrations, but there are frustrations at outside jobs as well. I love being home with my children!

3) That they are able to learn. There was a time when we seriously wondered about Jefferson's health and whether he would be impaired. The Lord has been very, very good to us. All of our children are extremely healthy, are able to work, are able to understand and have the energy and excitement that is necessary in working together as a family.

4) That they're tender-hearted. They are willing to work. Even though they may complain (trust me, they do!), when we explain the reasons that we are having them learn these skills, they jump in with both feet and we all have a good time working together as a family.

For anyone who's interested, here are some of the skills that they are learning/have learned:

James -- make his bed, empty the trash, empty the dishwasher, fold towels, learning to fold the large bath towels, peel carrots and potatoes, help me cook asparagus for Jefferson (see picture), spread butter on toast, set the table, clean up both his toys and sibling's toys if asked, load the washer, transfer to the dryer, fold his own clothes and put them away, help me fold Jefferson's clothes, sweep the kitchen floor after meals, rinse his own dishes after every meal and put them in the dishwasher.

Evelyn -- make her bed, put the silverware away, fold washcloths, dust cloths and hand towels, throw cut up veggies in soups or casseroles, set the table, clean up her toys and sibling's toys when asked, help James load the washer and transfer to the dryer, fold most of her own clothes and put them away, use the dustpan to clean the piles that James swept up, rinse her own dishes after every meal and put them in the dishwasher.

Jefferson -- picking up his own toys and helping pick up sibling's toys when asked. He's also learning to put books away. He loves to be with me all the time, so he's constantly observing and trying new things. It will be quite interesting to see what he ends up learning just by observing!

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