Have you lost sight of working with your children and enjoying it? Do they shy away from you when you need some help? Then, Family Friendly Farming just might be the book for you, even if you do not farm! This book has been a blessing to us! In fact, I probably need to read it again. It's always good to recap on some excellent advice!
Most parents have fallen short in this area at some point in time, but working with our children, whether it is with a family business or just everyday chores, should be an opportunity to teach, to encourage and to be an example to them. What are we telling our children when we gripe and moan over our work? What are we planting in their minds when we yell at them for doing a job not up to our standards?
To be humbly honest with you, my attitude can get the best of me at times! Why should I expect a 9 year old to be just as proficient at sweeping the floors as I am? Why should I expect my 11 year old to weed two hours straight without any breaks?
I'd like to blame it on the military, for I was a medic in the Air Force, believe it or not! Like I had mentioned before in one of my posts, my views have changed considerably since then. So, do not gasp in surprise too much! Although the military did instill a good work ethic in me, I also would go a little over board. I love a challenge, even if it is work!
I really do not like to take breaks, but, I should not put that on my children. Many kids will leave the farm or family business simply because they were worked to the ground. Who could blame them? It has taken a few years for me to relax and enjoy my children's company when we are working together. How much more rewarding it is for all of us to be able to laugh and talk lightheartedly while we are doing chores or working in the garden. There are times, when the old military mode comes out and I become a drill sergeant! I have to say that sometimes it is needed, but the majority of the time, I have to remind myself that I do not want my children to look at me as this heartless TI.
We went to an Entrepreneurial Boot Camp sponsored by Vision Forum years ago, and listened to Joel Salatin speak on this issue. Let's just say that many parents slumped a little lower in their seats, some men even teared up, when Mr. Salatin told us how our actions and words concerning work do affect our children. His message packed a punch! What a conviction!
But, I can't even do his book justice, so I'm going to stop here! If this is something you struggle with, please pick up his book and/or cd's! Not only is he down to earth, but a rather comical guy who loves the Lord and his farm. He gives simple, biblical advice that we all need to be reminded of. And, this isn't just for farmers. Salatin's words of advice can be applied to any family!
Click on the cd's and/or book if you would like more information or to purchase!
I interviewed my children on work ethic a few weeks ago. It was fun yet convicting at times to hear what they had to say. Take a look at a kid's perspective at Work Ethic in Children: An Interview with the Shock Kids, Parts 1 & 2
I am tallying up the votes from yesterday's post! Thank you for all of your comments! I will post the winner tomorrow!