Friday, March 28, 2014

Sowing Seeds

  Yes, we are in the garden, but those aren't the seeds I'm talking about. We've all heard the phrase "You reap what you sow". Well, this week I've been sowing seeds in my children.
Gardening isn't really easier with small children "helping". Duncan is actually able to help a little with some projects like planting seeds and transplants and hauling shovels and rakes around. The three younger kids really aren't any help at all. It actually takes much longer to work with them and I often have to re do things on the sly when they aren't looking.
Why do I let them help then? Why not send them off to play? Because, you reap what you sow and I want to reap capable adults who have important skills and know that their work is valued. That means that I have to let them work now. Yes, it takes more time, but that is sort of what parenting is all about.
I realized that I didn't get pictures of Morgan, but you can just barely see her digging a hole in the background of this picture.
When I let my kids help now, even though it isn't really much of a help, they are learning skills that will be useful in the future. They are also are understanding more about why I do what I do.  Seriously, it is easier to just buy produce from the store, but I feel that growing as much of our own food as possible is important. When the kids work with me, they get a chance to learn why I feel that way.
When I let the kids work with me, they feel like they are making a contribution to our family and home. They become producers, not just consumers. They get to take ownership of the results. If you've ever had a hard time getting your kids to eat vegetables, just let them grow some of their own. They might surprise you with how many of "their" vegetables they are willing to eat. Especially if you let them help cook them too!
I admit, I have to remind myself of all these things while they are busy digging out the soil I just put in place, or someone accidentally steps on a new transplant, or when I'm trying to lift a full shovel with a small hand on the handle "helping" me. It really would be so much easier to just send them in the house to watch a movie. But, I have goals as a parent. I want things for my children and welcoming their help gets me closer to those goals.
Besides, don't they just look adorable?

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