Jessica and Nomi

There are so many life skills that our children need to learn and it can be overwhelming to know where to start, and what to do.  Instead of using a programme or curriculum I have simply step by step taught my children to do the things that I do.  Once they can do it – often it becomes their responsibility, not mine.  For example I no longer clean the kitchen, bathroom, do the laundry or keep the verandas clean – the kids do this.  The kids clean their own bedrooms from top to bottom.  I no longer do a complete grocery shop – the girls help me there.  I no longer mend Pete’s work shirts – Nomi does this very nicely.  Little by little my responsibilities become the kids. (My overall responsibility is teaching, training and supervision.)  This is how I teach them the many life skills they will need as an adult.  My plan is that by the time they need these skills for their own life, they will have been well practiced.

To this end I have one secretary (Jessica) and one secretary in training (Nomi).  There are many administrative chores I do in the course of a day that are great training opportunities for my girls.  (Joshua has also been trained in these areas and puts them to use in his own life these days and Daniel will be trained when he is ready – just so you know this is not just a girl thing!)  Things like:  answering the phone, taking messages, writing emails, phoning people to leave a message, or make an appointment or answer a query, packaging mail orders or parcels, wrapping gifts and writing a family card, finding out information online, summarising their finds and communicating clearly, creating a form, chart or poster and so on…

Jessica is now learning to work in our family business office.  This now includes things like banking, data entry, sorting mail, filing, organising a work space, managing Outlook and other digital filing systems, stock taking, invoicing and so on…

These are all valuable skills for our children to have regardless of what is ahead of them.  Though many of these skills may be in the context of our family business reality is that as an individual, or as a family we use those skills to manage our life, or manage our family life.  Our children need to know these things.

I love my girls helping me this way.  It creates a sense of teamwork and one purpose in our family life.   There are a few heart issues that we need to watch though – when our children take on some of these admin chores for us, they are privy to information that maybe they wouldn’t be otherwise.  They need to learn discretion – that this is family information; they don’t share it with others.  They also need to learn that they are serving the family and by knowing these things it doesn’t make them equals with mum and dad.  If our children can take on these character traits, specifically discretion and humility,  then we can work together as a team, and that is a great thing!

 

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