Teaching the Value of Working Together

Gearing up for Easter dinner this weekend I wanted to clean house today.  

The boys were kind enough to help-- moaning and complaining are helping right? 

I was up early and got a good portion of the upstairs cleaned while the boys slept and then I put away all the stuff for the geography fair so we would have a clean table to sit at for our Easter dinner.  

After breakfast I sent all the boys upstairs to get dressed, make their beds, and clean their rooms.  Ian and Alec had some laundry to fold and put away too.

 Ian went right to work, he folded all his clothes, dusted his room and then offered to take the mop from me and mop the hallway and stairs!

Alec was having a hard time folding all of his clothes and kept asking me to help.  I felt bad, but I said no.  I was busy cleaning and told him I would help him when I was done if he wasn't finished by then.

Evan spent 20 minutes complaining that he doesn't like to clean or dust, but he eventually realized I was serious about him not leaving his room until it was cleaned so he finally dusted.

I did help Alec fold a few of his clothes, mostly his socks, and then he dusted his room.

We still had a bunch of toys bins in each of the boys rooms from when we babysat for my brother's kids last week and so we spent time this morning carrying them all down and putting toys away.

While the boys worked on organizing the toys, I cleaned in another room and then handed them each a dust rag and/or the vacuum and they cleaned the whole playroom too.  

  • They learned that by working together they could get the job done faster
  • They learned to communicate with one another; what jobs had been done, which jobs still needed doing, etc
  • They worked to their strengths with Ian cleaning all the higher and harder to reach places while giving the jobs lower to the ground to Evan
I was pretty proud of them that the complaining was kept to a minimum.  Those few times they did complain, I offered to let them take a break from dusting or vacuuming and let them clean a toilet or sink and then they happily decided they'd rather dust or vacuum. 

Ian is working with this great grandfather again today and Alec and Evan asked if they could go to work too.

While I was OK with letting Alec try his hand at raking and picking up twigs with Ian, I didn't want to ask their great grandfather to watch all 3 of them.  I also knew Evan would quickly loose interest and not be much help.  So, with their grandfather's approval Alec and Ian set off for work with tons of lectures from me about working hard, earning the money they make and not fighting.

I know all three boys really want to work so that they can have some spending money, let's face it, that's why most adults work.  How many people would continue at their jobs without a paycheck, right?  

So I was more than happy that Alec, who hates the outdoors, was willing to try real hard to earn some spending money.  

They both told me they'd try to come home with tired hands and blisters.  It was too funny.

 I hope they don't get blisters though.  That's what work gloves are for. 

I gently explained to Evan that while I realized he wanted to make money too that I think he's just to young and it would be to much work for G.G.  I told him that he could help out daddy when he goes raking and mowing and earn extra cash that way.

I love that my boys want to work!  Perhaps they all have a better work ethic than I typically give them credit for.


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