Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Work

One of our many 'Monday night fancy dinner nights'

Oh how I am inspired.

Thank you for all your comments here and over on facebook.

Family work is such an important thing!

A reader sent me this link to a wonderful article on Family work from BYU Magazine.

Much of it resonated with me. You MUST read it!

Now my girls, do work (a little) and I believe we keep a fairly neat house. It was more the lack of enthusiasm they have for it that upsets me. I have a pretty positive outlook on life and it bothers me to no end when my girls are very negative. Their lack of desire and respect for me and our house is what I want changed. I want them to be helpful and the ones to instigate it.

This morning I read yet another great post about all this (see we are all on the same tangent at the same time!)

Another epiphany came to me. I commented there that once upon a time I too used to sit my little on next to me to cook, wash, help fold. Then I had more kids. Then somehow, somewhere along the line it became easier to do everything for everyone and there was less inclusion of little ones in my daily chores. TV became more of a babysitter to give me reprieve during food preparation time, sweeping/mopping time and general cleaning. School came along and gave me grumpy tired afternoon children so I do most chores when they are NOT here.

Last year the older girls were incharge of cooking dinner for us once a week each. For a couple of months my eldest could cook a simple dinner almost without any help from me. It was fantastic. However as their enthusiasm for it waned, so did my enforcing. And here we are a year later and I believe they have regressed in their knowledge. We will have to start from the beginning all over again. A skill not practiced is easily lost.

The positiveness of all this is I can see improvement.
I can see the changes.
I can see them maturing just a teeny bit.

Some other areas I am seeing changes in, is allowing them a little more freedom. They are now required to walk home from school once a week. They walk with 3 other friends. This added responsibility and sending them on a few errands alone is increasing their maturity, responsibility and their self belief. I never knew parenting tweens would be so hard and scarey!! It didn't seem like such a problem when I was growing up with my parents!!

The other area is eating. Through our 'Monday night fancy dinner restaurant nights' (named by them) I have seen such an improvement on the types of food they are willing to eat! Over last 5 months of doing this they have eaten foods I would never thought they would. Asparagus, grilled zucchini, onion, ratatouille, roast meats and vegetables, tuna and the list goes on. Funny how a bit of responsibility (setting the table fancy) a bit on inclusion, and a bit of expectations (we expect that you try new things on fancy dinner like a restaurant nights) goes a long way! And of course the promise of special desserts and bubbly apple cider does the trick nicely!

I was chuffed beyond belief when my eldest daughter came home from school on valentines day saying that her friend really wants to come to our house for dinner because K told her all about how we having a fancy heart shaped dinner that night. Her friends were jealous and are all asking to come over!! I was also so pleased in us when I read a statistic somewhere that less than 20% of families eat dinner together regularly. It is such an important thing and predictor of eliminating future (bad) behaviours in children!

So any more thoughts from you all? I am finding this topic so interesting!

While I fear I am making so many mistakes in my parenting and that my children will be blaming me forever more (heck who doesnt blame their parents :) I know the best thing is to take one step at a time. Always trying to better yourself, your home and your systems one day at a time. That's all we can do. And it is enough! The best we can do is to always keep our eyes open for how we can improve ourselves. Then hopefully we shall never be stuck in an unending rut!

now go read that article :)

1 comment:

MattP said...

Thank you for sharin your thoughts. We have three daughters and agree that eating the family meal together is critical. I now wish I could recall the statistics I read recently that outllined the wonderful life long benefits people have if, as children, they ate together as a family. Nevertheless, well done on your noble pursuit and passion for what is best for your daughters (while trying to teach them to come along for the ride with a smile and enthusiasm).

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