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I worked with two very competent children  RSS feed

Posts: 7247
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Last week, I had a very hard-working helper who was motivated and willing to learn. She was 11 years old. I was doing some tree work for her father.

 She came home from school at lunch time , and decided to drag some branches to the bin and to watch how cuts were made when pruning trees. After a short while, she called the school to inform them that she would not be returning , since Dale was teaching her all about tree pruning. The kids in this family go to a school where that's okay.

 It was a very pleasant afternoon, and we got lots of work done.

A couple hours later , her eight-year-old brother came home from school and began helping. He was an awesome worker for a kid his age.

When the father got home, we talked about the day's events. Both kids are doing really well at school and both have a large degree of autonomy.

The next day, both kids were allowed to use my small loppers. There aren't many eight year olds who I would trust with a tool like this.

There is no way that these kids will ever find themselves working in some dead-end, minimum wage job. By the time they graduate from high school, they will have more useful skills than many 40 year olds.

I've done a few things for this family , and it's always a pleasure to teach these kids a little about whatever I'm doing.
Posts: 565
Location: Mid-Michigan
bee books duck food preservation forest garden hunting solar trees
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Thanks, Dale!

That's mighty encouraging- mine are 9, 6, and 2.

We formulated a real specific goal when the first one was little. What are we trying to do as parents?
A. Get them ready to have nice lives on their own by age 18.
B. Be good Christians.

So they have a reasonable load of chores each. Some tidying, a few dishes, one wipes the bathroom sink and the other the toilet, etc.

And I make sure to teach them about tools, even when it slows my project down. They both know, for example, that a file only cuts on the push.

9-year-old has hens, sells the eggs. All the money in is hers, because all the money out was hers. Seed money came from birthdays and Christmases.

We're trying hard! And we're hoping SO hard that they come out useful like the kids you just met. I appreciate the optimistic anecdote!
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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That speaks highly of the parents.
Some parents are so protective of their kids that the kids will never learn anything.
We need to protect our kids obviously, but over-protecting them is actually setting them up for future harm.
If they have never been taught about dangers, they will find them too late - they won't be looking for it.

They both know, for example, that a file only cuts on the push.

Same thing with a saw.
I have seen way too many adults trying to use these tools on both the push and pull.
Just tires them out quicker, and damages the tool.
Try 100 things. 2 will work out, but you will never know in advance which 2. This tiny ad might be one:
What Would You Cook First in a Rocket Stove?
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