I hope that your Tuesday has been great so far! Bug and I are going to hit Mount Philo for a hike after nap time, and then to the grocery store!
Growing up with horses, has left me with a deep seated appreciation for the hard work that comes with the privilege that comes with having ANY animal in my life. It’s one of the qualities that I most pride myself in having, and I think really helped set me up for the transition that is having kids. What’s a few more delicate creatures that depend entirely on me for survival?
Now that LB comes to work with me almost every day, I wanted to take advantage of his willingness and give him a few little tasks that were “his” to do. I really feel strongly that he needs to grow up knowing that when help is needed, you jump in and help. I don’t want to raise a kid that just stands around watching; so I get him involved, just like my mentors did for me.
He has a few specific chores around the farm, and the house, that are “his” and believe it or not, he takes them pretty seriously. Since he’s two (almost..hold me) I don’t task him specifically with anything time sensitive or that involves any creatures that aren’t mine.
Every afternoon that we’re at work, he’s in charge of bringing Jake to his stall and feeding him. Jake knows the routine and takes HIS job of being dragged around by the tiny human very seriously. He’s also gotten savvy to the fact that he can’t be super pushy when he sees that LB is the one wielding the bucket of goodness that is his dinner. I took the time to work with Jake before setting the toddler loose on him, and they are ALWAYS heavily supervised.
His other job is collecting empty buckets after I feed lunch and dinner grain. I dump the grain and then set the bucket on the floor. LB comes behind me and brings them back to the grain bin. He LOVES to play with buckets, so this was a pretty easy one to capitalize on. He can work on this one pretty independently, and I like that he has something to do that doesn’t require me to be right there. While he’s occupied with collecting the buckets, I can usually get hay tossed and water buckets topped off. Win – win!
His last “chore” at the barn is helping me brush Jake, which we do every day. He has his own little green brush and Jake has the cleanest knees in the whole barn. Again, this is heavily supervised chore and Jake is steady on the ground. I use this one as an opportunity to work with him on proper ground manners around the horses, which is super important to me.
His chores at home follow the same vein. He’s in charge of feeding Bogan and Bubbles in the afternoons (we don’t have time in the morning) which he absolutely loves. Lord help you if you touch the dog food container without his immediate consent! Again, I worked with the animals first before allowing him to take this stuff on. Bogan is endlessly patient and not food motivated in the least. Bubbles is… Bubbles.
All in all, I can see how giving him these tasks is helping to gently mold him into a helpful kid, who understands that being part of the family means pitching in to help with EVERYTHING. Being a single Mom means that the responsibility of raising a helpful, involved kid weighs pretty heavily on my mind. I am endlessly thankful that our lifestyle helps me to do exactly that. I’m also grateful that my animals tolerate it, and are helping me to obtain my parenting goals!
Do your kiddos have chores around the house? What do you task them with if they do?