Just about a year ago my husband and I got a Border Collie. Everyone who knew anything about this breed told me, “They have a lot of energy and they need a job.” They were right.
Although I have had dogs all my life, I have never had a herding dog before. I have had hunting dogs. If you take a walk with a hunting dog they want to chase bunnies and sniff where other critters have been. A herding dog wants to work. They need a job.
We don’t have any sheep to round up, so we have to invent jobs for Rocky to do. He likes to help clear trails on our farm—actually hauling branches away when we trim them back from the trail. He likes to catch balls or Frisbees, round up our cats and so forth. He actually rounded up a rather unfriendly cat we have in our back yard so I could put a flea prevention liquid on its back! I have heard if you don’t have a job for a Border Collie to do, they will invent a job to do and it usually is not something you will be happy with. I believe it.
That got me thinking. We are a lot like Border Collies. In order to feel useful we all need a job to do. My 90 year old father-in-law fills the pop machines at the local grocery and delivers meals on wheels. My retired neighbors visit those in the hospital, in legal trouble or those who just need a friend.
We all need a job.
As a parent, you have a job, but what about your kids? I am convinced that, just like Rocky, children need jobs.
My young grandchildren ask for jobs to do because they want to be helpful. Two year old Allison told me last week, “I am a good helper.” And she is.
But somewhere between being a preschooler and young adult, most kids would rather not have any household jobs to do. I sincerely believe that in order to feel needed and that they are worthwhile, all children need to contribute to the household. Chores are excellent for this. Doing a job lets kids know they are important to the success of the family. It gives them self esteem, trains them to be a team player, helps get the work done and it prepares them to be independent adults someday.
Yes, everyone needs a job.
Summer would be a great time to teach your children how to do some of the chores around the house. It will give them the opportunity to have a job and to break summer boredom. If you would like some ideas abut how to give your children worthwhile jobs and get them more involved in the household chores, you may want to check out this post on how to beat summer boredom.