Monday, July 18, 2011

Isn't It Cruel To Make Children Work?

Since our topic this week is, in fact, "Teaching Our Children to Work", the short answer to the title question would be no. However, if you're like me, you want to know why, so I will share why I think it is cruel to not make children work.

Before I start, just let me make it clear, that I'm not talking about breaking any child labor laws or sending your child out for paid employment at the age of 4. I mean basic chores around the house for the purpose of instructing your child for later in life when work will be a major part of his time investment and will be necessary for survival.

Here are a few myths and facts (all based on my own opinions, of course--feel free to take or leave them) about children and work:

Myth: My children will have their whole lives to work. I want them to enjoy their childhood.
Fact: If your child doesn't learn to work as a child, he will remain like a child when it is well past time for him to be working. And who said work can't be enjoyable?

Myth: Household chores are too difficult for my children to do.
Fact: Modified chores are perfectly attainable and even fun for children as young as 2.

Myth: I want my children to learn their own way to do chores when they are old enough to decide for themselves.
Fact: By that time they will be accustomed to the primary activity of being waited upon and will not wish to decide about anything concerning work.

Myth: Making my children work will take away from their play time.
Fact: If your children do nothing but make work; than you, the parent, will always be busy and there won't be anyone for them to play with.

Later this week, we'll explore some ways to make work fun and how to make those moments "teachable". For now, what are some myths you have heard about teaching children to work?

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