This weekend we processed chickens. About 50 of them. A couple got a pass because they too small to bother with. For now. Last time we did this I made the kids stay in the house and watch a movie. This time Mr. Fix-It thought they could handle it and would be fine being outside with us. The Cowboy couldn’t wait to help and was dogging behind Mr. Fix-It for days to get in on the action.
It was interesting to see their different reactions. The Cowboy wanted to help with everything and got frustrated that he was too small and the work space was too crowded for him to be involved much, but he refused to go back inside–just in case Mr. Fix-It had a quick job for him.
Speedracer, on the other, hand just wanted to hang out and play where everyone else was and besides saying “Ewww, Mama, that gooossss!” a few times, moved on as if it wasn’t even happening.
The Ladybug wrinkled her nose a lot, and pretty much stayed away from the processing section, but she was a big help when it came to chilling the birds and then drying them and bagging them.
She’s also very interested in the cooking part. She loves to help in the kitchen.
I’ve noticed that the farm is very exciting for the kids because they can do “real” work. So many of the chores they do are the same chores we do, not just busy work we made up to keep them…well…busy. They might use a smaller bucket, but they’re feeding the chickens the same as I do. They might have to use a stool (aka 5 gallon bucket) to check for eggs and reach the sink, but they’re gathering and washing the eggs the same as I do. While this is great for them–it’s tough on me.
Why? Because they can spot busy work from 10 miles away.
Anything that smacks of distracting them rather than a job that needs to be done sends them straight to Whining-ville. Which is apparently home to Starving Town, Dying of Thirst Village, and Fake Coughing Central. Which sends me straight to the City of Splitting Headache. There’s nothing worse than having your hand in a dead chicken, scraping spongy pink lungs out, with a 3 year old yanking at your elbow pestering you about fruit snacks. Nothing.
So here’s my question today, readers…What do you think “chores” should be for young kids? Like the under 10 set. I actually saw one of those chore/reward charts the other day that had brushing your teeth as a chore. I don’t consider learning personal hygiene a chore we should be rewarding our kids for. (Especially if you buy into the theory of giving allowances for doing chores!) An important daily routine that they have to learn, yes. A chore, no. Here’s something else I’ve been wondering about…should we call them “chores” or something else? Our kids do seem to prefer “jobs” but we tend to use “chores” as old-fashioned farm talk.
What do you use?