I'm blessed with two boys. One is nearing 5 years old and the other is a few years behind him. As my eldest son grows, he and I spend more time together working.
He is old enough to be aware of danger, or at least heed my words to steer clear. And of the age that getting to do "outside stuff with Daddy" is fun.
Now is the time to instill a Good Work Ethic
At least that's what I'm trying to do. I want him to learn the value to hard work, perseverance, and doing something himself early in life. I feel these are traits my father passed to me around the same age and they have done me well throughout life. Knowing how to do something is empowering and builds confidence in oneself.
Here's a photo of a recent example of such a time to include and teach my son:
We're finishing up fencing our property for our new sheep to arrive in two weeks. In the above photo, we're using a DIY fence stretcher that he and I built to tension the fence and attach it to the posts.
It's been crazy hot and (even worse) humid the past week or two. Despite that, we've been outside nearly every evening and on weekends working on our land. Sure, it's be easier to let him stay inside or go play all the time, but he would miss out on learning opportunities!
Just in the above scenario and during this week, he's learned:
- How to tighten bolts with two wrenches (fence stretcher assembly)
- What a come-along or winch is
- How long bars help make work easier (levers, power multipliers)
- How to attach fence clips
- Proper safety around tools and equipment on this job (minding the tight winch lines and pinching pliers)
- And about the importance of a bandanna, hat, and plenty of water!
The Coolest Part
Probably the coolest part about all of this is how proud he feels of the work he's done! He was thrilled to share his work with family who came by and is excited about doing his "farm chores" when the sheep arrive. This to me, is priceless. Especially in what seems to be a modern society of fewer doers.
But All Work and No Play...
Don't get me wrong.. he plays... WE PLAY!
Exploring the creek at our garden, looking for fish, salamanders, and crawdads (crayfish).
When the work is done, or we're tired, we watch TV shows together, go on exploring trips, or just pillow fight on the bed. I try to give my boys equal time of fun and work. I use the motto "Work Hard, Play Hard" a lot.
Tomorrow is Saturday, and to reward his hard work, he's picking what we'll do! So far, he's narrowed it to:
- Go swimming in a mountain stream
- Go to an arcade and play games (with quarters he's saved for a while)
Tell ya what... Come back tomorrow night to see what we did!!! :-)
Guess that's all for now... just had these thoughts on my mind and wanted to put them out there to share.