Sunday, August 18, 2013

Teaching kids the value of work!

Today I gave a talk in church, on Teaching Children the Value of Work. So here it is, for anyone who needs a bit of encouragement teaching their kids or grandkids to work!

A traveler passed a stone quarry and saw three men working. He asked each man what he was doing. Each man’s answer revealed a different attitude, toward the same job. “ I am cutting stone,” the first man answered. The second replied, “I am earning three gold pieces per day.” And the third man smiled and said,  “ I am helping to build a house of God.”
It is vital that we have a great attitude about the work we do…one might ask WHY?
In a talk given  by J Richard Clark which you can find here:    he says… 
Work is a blessing from God. It is a fundamental principle of salvation, both spiritual and temporal. When Adam was driven from his garden home, he was told that his bread must be produced by his physical toil, by the sweat of his brow. Note carefully the words: “Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake” ., that is, for his good or benefit. It would not be easy to master the earth; but that was his challenge and his blessing, as it is ours.
From the time our kids were little we tried to teach them the value of work. 
Each week at FHE we would pick a (VERY IMPORTANT PERSON) or what we called our V.I.P. 
This child got to pick out the songs and treats for Family night,
they got to pick someone to say morning and nightly prayers,
they got to sit where they wanted at the table,
 they got to pick their favorite meal for one of our dinners
  and most important they got to pick what chore they did.
Usually the coveted chore was the dishes, it was pretty easy compared to sweeping, or laundry so ….that is what the VIP usually picked. One morning after all the kids had gone to school, I was in my room straightening up when I heard an awful scream from Lee  in the kitchen (it was one of those screams that you were pretty sure there had to be blood that went with it ) well, I ran in and found Lee holding his thumb and crying. I looked and he had been doing his dishes ( because he was the V.I.P. for the week ) and he had cut his self with one of the knifes. Now anyone of the younger kids that did the dishes, knew that they did not have to do the silverware …actually they weren’t suppose to….because of the knifes and other sharp objects. And up until that day, it has never been a problem!  Lee said that he thought he could take one of the knives and cut a door out of an old cardboard box he found, so he could have a garage for his matchbox cars. Well, obviously the knife slipped… and cut his thumb.  So off to the hospital we went.
As the nurses were trying to calm him down and clean the wound and prepare him for the stitches, they asked him some questions…
How old are you Lee?...."four"
How did you cut your thumb?..."with a butcher knife"  ( it wasn’t that big but to a 4 year old, maybe it did)
What were you doing with a butcher’s knife?.... sob …"I am the VIP"
What does that mean? …. Between  more  sobs he said   "VERY IMPORTANT PERSON"
But why did you have a knife? …"because I was doing the dishes"
Why were you doing the dishes? …..then will sobbing louder than ever he said…"because I am the VIP"
As I watched the nurses faces, and then saw them turn and whisper to each other, I was wondering if maybe our teaching our kids to work AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE   was going to be seen as something different! Lucky for us everything went fine…and we were able to take Lee home, after a few painful stitches.
As a family it was very important for us to remind our children what King Benjamin said in  . Mosiah 2:17  “ When you are in the service of your fellow beings ye are in the service of your God”
Teaching our kids to serve one another was a main goal in our home. We would remind them when they helped with the laundry… everyone in the house would have clean clothes that they could find,
when they needed them.
When they vacuumed, then the floor would be clean, for their baby brother or sister crawling around.
Brad however had a bit of trouble thinking that vacuuming and sweeping had any real purpose, so sometimes I had to get creative. One day after he did a half way job of sweeping and came to tell me that he was all done, I asked…did you find the money?  His reply was What money?  I then said, if you did  a really good job of sweeping, then you would have found the money.  From then on he learned quickly on how to really sweep, which meant going behind the furniture, picking up the rugs and sweeping all along the baseboards. .
 Teaching your kids to work, really takes a lot of thinking and creativity!
Still you might hear the same complaint every now and then that we read about in Matthew Chapter 20 It is the parable that Jesus tells of the laborers in the vineyard, when at the end of the day they are finally given their wages and how some complained …that it wasn’t  fair! Guess it does my heart good to know my kids weren’t the only ones to complain about fairness :)
As we talk to our kids now, they are grateful for their knowledge on how to work. Especially when they have  room mates or companions that don’t know how to do any chores at all.
I still agree with the old saying…
“Tell me and  I’ll forget”
Show me and  I’ll remember
Involve me and I’ll understand.” 
In closing I would like to read this quote that Brother Clark mentions in his talk, about work ….
“If you are poor, work. If you are burdened with seemingly unfair responsibilities, work. If you are happy, work. Idleness gives room for doubts and fears. If disappointments come, keep right on working. If sorrow overwhelms you and loved ones seem not true, work. If health is threatened, work. When faith falters and reason fails, just work. When dreams are shattered and hope seems dead, work. Work as if your life were in peril. It really is. No matter what ails you, work. Work faithfully-work with faith. Work is the greatest remedy available for both mental and physical afflictions.”
-- Korsaren
I am grateful for to be a member of this church, I am grateful for the emphasis that our Prophet put on the principle of work .
I am  grateful to know …that in the end, what is really important is…
What we have become by our labors!

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