Today’s Motivation for Moms (see sidebar) encouraged us to “give children age appropriate responsibilities….”
It is an amazing thing when you give your children responsibilities. Earlier this week Pete, his parents and the kids were involved in weeding and spraying the tree paddock. They put in a couple of hard long days – especially since the humidity was building up. (It broke into a lovely day of rain yesterday).
Daniel, who doesn’t usually last for very long was full of enthusiasm vying for the opportunity to work – the reason being we had a very small “tractor” which he was able to drive. Motivation indeed! But the thing we noticed was the air of responsibility he took on. He was concerned he couldn’t hear instructions so they developed hand signals. Whenever the tractor wouldn’t move he jumped out and checked everything from the balance of the land under him to the parts on the tractor. He was aware of safety issues such as shoes and sunblock. Here was a responsibility that could have easily been given to an older child and yet he was able to do it, with flying colours!
Another time where we noticed a sense of responsibility being picked up was at our last Sunday morning breakfast. We traditionally have a full cooked breakfast; Pete cooks most of it outside on the BBQ and I do the eggs, toast and cappuccino inside. Daniel received an apron for Christmas (as did Peter) and when Daniel saw Peter don his apron he quickly found his and went outside to be with his Dad. Not only to watch and talk, as is often the case, but he wanted to learn how to look after the BBQ and cook the food. The apron seemed to deliver an opportunity for responsibility.
Read more about the role of Responsibility in our homeschooling efforts.