39 bags of leaves later, this is what i’ve learned …

December 5, 2010

:: my memories of raking leaves as a child are clearly romanticized and seen through rose-colored glasses

:: raking leaves, particularly over bark and rocks, is hard work

:: i should have been a better instructor/manager of the project from the beginning (instead of giving some cursory instruction and then being very hands-off, justifying that it’s her job)

:: doing a ginormous leaf-raking job is a big job for a child’s first job

:: evidence of a child’s lack of a strong work ethic is convicting for a mama

:: my child needs much more practice doing much more work (the daily and weekly chores are not instilling the ethic i’d like to see)

:: allowing said child to do only a minimum amount of raking each day, leaving the bulk of work for the last day, was a mistake on my part. i should have established time frames and expectations to be met daily.

:: my husband – responding to my plea of frustration on (what i thought was) the final day, was a life-saver – infusing much-needed perspective and encouragement  to this mama. he provided amazing instruction to maddie and helped oversee much of the rest of the project.

:: my hubby is so much better at the methodical, unemotional, painstakingly-detailed instruction, than i am. i want to be doing much more to train my daughter in household tasks and although i could say she does a fair share of chores for a 10 year old, i feel challenged to increase her mastery of other household tasks.

:: training takes hard work (for the parent); detailed explanation and oversight until the skill is learned. (why is it sometimes easier just to sweet the floor myself!?)

:: hard work FEELS good,when it’s done. working hard beyond the point of personal comfort, and completing a larger task, provides such a sense of satisfaction upon completion. i want to remember this and keep this at the forefront of my mind as i train and teach maddie, both in household tasks, in schooling, in  life.


2 Responses to “39 bags of leaves later, this is what i’ve learned …”

  1. Jessica Krohn Says:

    Oh friend, I hear you!

    Life is a constant place of learning, for us, for our kids, and for our families as a whole.

    I too have had similar feelings of complacency with my son’s chore contribution and then my husband points out that even when he does the ‘required’, he needs occasional reminders….AND he could be doing so much more for 13 years old. So, we are in the process of changing what is required. If the goal is for us to raise him to be a self sufficient man…among other things, then I must be sure he knows how to be just that. My desire to serve him can get in my way of ‘teaching’ him. Ugh…parenting is not easy but I trust that one day I will stand back a look at a man who loves the Lord and is a good husband, father, and provider!

    As for the leaves…..sheesh that was a BIG yard! And yet, I bet that many lessons were learned for your little one over those days that were good.

    You and Mike are great parents and she is lucky to have you!

  2. liz Says:

    What an experience! Always learning, aren’t we? Having kids do chores is such hard work for the parents — I find myself having to balance my desire for my kids to learn to work hard with my desire for my kids to have plenty of free time to play and just be kids. And since we’re traditional schoolers, we only have so many afternoon hours for work and play. Something that has helped me is to realize that we don’t have to come up with a system right now that’s going to work forever. We can have a plan, and we can change the plan to meet our needs as we go along. Challenging aspect of parenting, no doubt. And 39 bags is a LOT!

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