We have a HOMESTEAD. A mini-farm. Come visit. We’re as good as any petting zoo. And WE have a trampoline!
So kids helping with chores, in the house and outside, are important. There’s just too much for my husband and I to do alone. Plus we want them to have these life skills so that they can move out and maybe, someday, take care of us when we’re old.
Jon picked green beans. Like a LOT of them. How much? I don’t know. A LOT!
We need to preserve these so that we have yummy green beans all winter. Bring out the pressure canner and the jars!
It’s a PARTY!
Here we go!
The kids know we need their help, but want some reward for their hard work. That sounds fair. They won’t enjoy the “reward” of green beans in January the way we will. They need something a bit more immediate.
Okay for every 5 minutes of work – you will earn 1 minute of electronic time (aka video games).
So 1 hour = 12 minutes of Donkey Kong or Super Mario Bros.
We limit electronics EXTENSIVELY – Miss and Meatball fight DURING them and AFTER them and often become agitated BECAUSE of them. Not worth it for me. But they WANT them and therefore a bargaining chip and reward system is in play. You work hard – you earn what you WANT.
3 HOURS LATER!
All green beans are trimmed and cut into small pieces and ready to go into the pressure cooker. They cut green beans for 3 hours! Yes they did! They had a lunch break after 2 and we told them they didn’t have to keep going, but they WANTED to. They WANTED to finish what they started (and earn more time). They were so PROUD of their hard work and we were too. We talked about Perseverance and Effort and Teamwork.
Then they played video games for 40 minutes (they earned a BONUS for finishing their job!) and yelled at each other and blamed each other for not winning and high-fived for getting to the next level. While Jon and I ignored them, finished canning and cleaned up the kitchen.