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How do you teach your Katy kids about helping?

I recently asked my seven-year old to help me with some housework.  Immediately, he peered at me and said, “How much are you going to pay me?”  I could tell by his tone, that he was weighing whether or not it was worth doing the job by how much he would be compensated.  To his question, I replied, “I am not going to pay you anything.  Sometimes we work just to be helpful.  Work is fun, and often it is most fun when we do it without expecting anything in return.”

My response had clearly surprised him.  He sat and thought for a minute and then said, “So, you aren’t going to pay me to do these jobs?” 

“No.”  I said.  “Today, you are simply going to help me because you are a member of the Lewis family, and there is work that needs to be done.” 

Slowly he looked up at me and said, “Ok.  What do you want me to do?”

For the next hour, we worked side by side washing dishes, dusting, straightening, and talking.  I asked him about his school work, his friends, and his hopes for the summer.  Time flew by because we weren’t focused on the work, but each other. 

As we stood back and admired our clean home, I said, “Thanks for all of your hard work.  Did you like helping me clean the house?”

He responded, “I like earning money, but I guess sometimes, I will just help because you need it.  I can see that you are happy, and that makes me feel good.” 

I smiled at him and thought, Yes- a moment of triumph!  The value of work is indeed priceless!

How do you teach your children the value of hard work?  Please post a comment.

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