Sunday, March 10, 2013

The roles of the big kids

Henry (age 11) does most of the work with the chickens.  Others do help throughout the day by checking for eggs or bringing them table scraps...but when something needs to be done, it's Henry that we call on.  Usually Wyatt (9) helps him clean the coop.  He was sick. So this is Elizabeth (7) helping out.  She needed a little more direction from Henry but they got along very well and she did what she was asked to do.
Funny how the older kids just kind of slip into a role of their choosing.  Terese (13) enjoys cooking and makes most of our meals either by herself or with help from me or one of the other kids.  Either way, just before dinner, we usually find Terese in the kitchen helping out.
Nathan (15) has pretty much handled lawn work (with help) and snow removal (with help).  When it snows he's the one who gets outside and plows a path for Anna (18) to get out and off to college.  He doesn't do it alone (too much for one person) but he is the first one out and last one in.  And, I can count on him to make sure everything was done properly.  He's also the one to spearhead a major cleaning/reorganizing/let's get rid of stuff! plan.
Anna is mostly busy with college.  She does stop at the store and pick things up for me (though she's had a broken foot since early I try not to ask her).  She will also fill in when needed. 
We are trying to make sure all the kids are "trained" in on all jobs.  Everyone should know how to cook, clean, do laundry, etc.   But my teens (and my 11 yr old) have all found a niche they like.  And I love that.  They are helping out the family in an area they enjoy.  As long as they don't balk when asked to do something else I'm fine with them sticking to what they enjoy.  They are good at what they enjoy.
The rest are have their favorite jobs...but at this point they mostly do what I ask them to.  Their various skills are shining through though.  Wyatt did tell me one time, "Mom, your jobs in the house are really boring.  I like working in the garage with dad a lot more."  Yep, can't say that I blame him.  Washing the floors, folding laundry, dusting, etc.  those things just can't compete with rebuilding a lawn tractor :)

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