Last night, our 6 & 8-year-old had just finished setting the dinner table for me when they both started telling me which person had done more.
E: “I gave everyone a napkin.”
A: “I gave everyone a glass of water.”
E: “I put carrots on everyone’s plates.”
The conversation went on for about a minutes until I stopped them both and said:
“It makes my heart sad to hear you guys arguing like this because the best part of watching you set the table was watching you do it together. When you work together, you can get so much more done because you can help each other out and put your ideas together. Everything is easier and more fun… even chores. Think about when we changed the sheets on your bed today. You helped on one side while I helped on the other. We didn’t talk about which one of us did more, right? Setting the table isn’t any different. It was teamwork.”
They seemed to understand and said that they were sorry. Well, my six-year-old very tenderhearted, sensitive daughter cried and said: “I’m so sorry, Mommy.”
That night, when I was tucking them into bed, I talked to all four of our kids about the power teamwork. I reminded them that when we turn our “unload the dishwasher” chore into an “assembly line” chore, it goes so fast. (Two people unload & put the dishes on the kitchen island, while the other two kids put them away. They race the clock & usually finish in under 90 seconds.)
I think this is so important and one that needs to be taught to our children often (Thankfully- this was also the same lesson that was taught in church this weekend… work together, put others first, etc…)
After all of this, I was reminded of a sign that I saw on our last trip to Hilton Head, during one of our bike rides.
We love to shop at little church-run thrift shops when we are visiting Hilton Head. In fact, I think that our kids think it’s a mandatory thing and they each bring a few dollars on every bike ride, just in case we happen to stop at one of the MANY church thrift-shops on the island. I love the thrill of a good deal as much as they do (I always look for sales- like this little adorable outfit that we got on sale this fall)!
They always come home from these shops with a treasure: an old baseball glove that looks like it was from 100 years ago & makes us think of how things were then, a craft-set that was never opened but will provide hours of fun crafting at the table, or a game that we can play after dinner that evening as a family…
The last time that we were there, we took a 30 minute bike ride to a little shopping area and ran into a new thrift shop. When we were checking out (and hoping that all of their new purchases were going to fit in our bike baskets) I looked up and saw a sign hanging near the register:
I turned that image into a sheet that I could print & hang on our refrigerator as a daily reminder.
I want our kids to know that while the credit can be fun at the moment… All glory is fleeting and how we work with others and treat others is what really matters. This lesson of not worrying about the credit will help them in every area of life (friendship, marriage, etc…) if they can learn it now and keep that mindset throughout their lives.
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