Sunday, March 19, 2006
CHILD FRIENDLY WORK
I thought I would share some ideas with you which might be quite radical...my children like to work but to do that they need to see us having fun when we work. If we show our children that we hate our work, that we are stressed then we cannot really blame them for wanting to chill out and watch video games or watch TV. We should stop and remember how it is to play, play emptying the washing machine, lay the table, sweep the floor, plant and weed in the garden. What works for us is to add a little competition as that seems irresistible......lets see whether you can finish before me, give them a small task to do, have about 10 times more to do and be fair. I remember how my grandmother allowed me to peel and cut up carrots, how she shared her skills with me, how she told me stories about her childhood. Home, family, community, country, world.....it has to start with us. And if you think it is dangerous letting a small boy paint the chicken house...think again. How more scary is it to take him to nursery, where he is without you all day, and where he is exposed to lots of bugs. I sometimes think we do the same to chickens and children and I am sure that if they are left to play and do what comes naturally, they will thrive. They could also get hurt but they will learn from that. Spend time with your children because creating a relationship with them now is an investment for the future. I hope that I will be around to see my grandchildren play and what I will lack in energy I hopefully will make up in funny stories, patience and wisdom. At least thats my hope. So make a date with your kids, remember to have fun and play and then when you work together it will almost seem like the same thing. A bit of competition is fine.....
We did the spring cleaning in the chicken house, painted it green this time and are preparing it for our new flock. I intend to share this work/ play with my son and also share the proceeds of the eggs with him. We could have egg hunts, check the chickens and play mathematical games. We could learn about patience, being careful with things that break easily and we could talk about animals, their needs and how not much different they are from our basic needs. The most important lesson I seem to have to reinforce for the moment is that unlike characters in the video games, we only have one life so...we better look after it and make it count.