Sunday, September 21, 2008

Work ethic

Today I was wiping off the counter in the kitchen, silently bemoaning the fact that cleaning the kitchen counters is yet another never-ending and thankless job, while my 5 year old son was sitting at the same counter eating goldfish crackers. He asked me if I was tired, and I said yes, because I was, and he told me that I was tired because I was working so much. Well, aside from the initial burst of he-does-appreciate-me-and-realizes-that-being-a-stay-at-home-mom-is-a-real-job, I had to laugh. I asked Logan if he was tired, and he said no, because he wasn't working. Then I said maybe he should do a little work so I wouldn't have to do so much work and then I wouldn't be as tired. He said he didn't want to do any work, and when I asked him why, he told me it was because he didn't want to be tired!

The other day my 8 year old son brought home a book order form from school, and of course, he had found something that he wants to buy in the order form. Some time ago, my husband and I came to a compromise regarding an allowance for said 8 year old. Scott wanted Cody's allowance to be tied to chores, if I insisted on giving him money at all, because Scott wants Cody to learn that you have to work for money. I wanted Cody's allowance to not be tied to chores, because I want him to learn how to handle money, plus I wanted to take the every-day decisions about spending money on silly things for my kids out of my hands and into their hands, and I didn't want Cody to have the option of not doing chores and just saying, "oh I just won't get my allowance this week." So, Cody has a base salary, which he gets no matter what, and then if he wants extra money, there are extra chores he can do to earn more money. There's a bit more to it than that, but I don't want to lose y'all.

So suddenly, Cody is faced with the prospect of earning $8 in less than a week. Hubby had one chore for Cody to do, and then I told Cody I would pay him $3 an hour to pull weeds. Now I had been beginning to think that Cody had inherited my lazy-nature, as he seems to like to spend as much time as possible (as much as we'll let him) sitting on the couch watching TV. He's also perfected the whiney-voice, which adds to the lazy-nature image. My husband has a tremendous work ethic, as does his entire family, and that's actually one of the things that atracted me to him. In fact, I think they actually like to work (gasp!), enjoy it even. Anyway, Cody came home from school on Friday and worked, pulling weeds for 1.5 hours. No breaks. I was tired of pulling weeds 10 minutes in. I could not believe this was my son doing all this work, and was so impressed with that kid. He did it again on Saturday, for half an hour, and that was enough, with his base salary, and what he already had in his spending money account, to pay for his book club item.

It's a good thing to realize that your kid is not following in your own lazy footsteps, at least not when given the proper motivation. As a mommy I worry at times that I'm not giving my kidlings the proper foundation and training so that they can be productive grown-ups all on their own. I wish I knew how to make this working thing self-motivating. I sure hope Cody thinks his super spy scope is worth it...

1 comment:

  1. Some of us don't mind their children taking after them!


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