Thursday, May 26, 2011

hard work

This week for Family Home Evening I taught the kids a little lesson on Hard Work.  It must have been what we needed to talk about because both Jeff and I independently decided that’s what the lesson should be on this week.  I think we’ve both been thinking a lot about how we want to raise hard workers….and the whine/complaining meter has been raising significantly lately in our house.
We talked about why working hard is important and how Shumways are hard workers.  We talked about what work needs to happen in a family and who does what.  We talked about how work can be drudgery or kind of enjoyable depending on  your attitude. 
We talked about Uncle Jo and how he is such a great example of working hard.  Charlie really loved this part because he idolizes Uncle Jo and remembers doing “garbage guys” with him. 
We talked about how much energy we waste by dreading and complaining and we brainstormed ways to make work more fun. 
  • Sing a little song while you work (Hazel’s suggestion)
  • Put on some Michael Jackson (Charlie’s suggestion)
  • Time yourself (Charlie is SOOO much better staying on task if it’s a race or he’s being timed)
  • Make it into a game
  • Give yourself a little treat to look forward to after you’re done.
I think I might of needed the lesson more than anyone.  There’s a lot of complaining going on in my head lately and quite a bit of it even burst out of mouth.  (My kids were quick to point this out during the lesson…..and I totally admitted to needing to work on this as well!)
This summer we’re going to focus a lot on work. 
  • The kids each have their own little spaces in the garden that they’re going to be totally responsible for.  I think some kind of manual real work like this is great for kids.  Gone are the days where kids do the kind of work where the consequences are dyer if they neglect their duties, like tending to animals, milking cows, growing crops. 
  • We’re going to get more serious about training them to do more housework…..maybe even pay them a bit once they’re “certified” doing certain jobs. 
  • We’re going to be more serious about teaching them to pick up after themselves.  Gunny Bag is going to be awfully hungry this summer. 
  • I’m going to stop complaining.  Every time I want to complain I’m going to think of my mom.  I have NEVER heard her complain about working hard.  Never.  Seriously.
Anyway, tomorrow we’re off to our annual Bar Harbor trip.  Charlie is bursting with anticipation and excitement.  He got up at 6am to pack.  Since he’s old enough to remember last year so well he’s been telling me all kinds of things he’s excited about.  While we were having lunch he told me the thing he’s most excited about:
“I won’t have to empty the dishwasher for 4 whole days!”
Maybe I really am teaching my kids to work!  It makes me happy that he’s working hard enough to feel the same kind of relief at a getting a break as I do.
I’d love to hear your thoughts/ideas on how to get your kids to stop complaining and really work and maybe even enjoy it sometimes!


  1. you're the coolest and emmeline is the cutest!! I wish I could go to bar harbor with you. let's comment on each other's blogs more. love you.

  2. Grampa and Grandma Jacobson would be overjoyed to see this! It's in the Jacobson blood. Jonah is properly named. Good for you! Charlie's comment kills me!



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