Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Do you pay your kids? [Dairy Star Column]

By the time most of you read this, my kids will be back in school. I always approach the start of the school year with a mixture of dread and relief. Dread because I know I will miss my children. Relief because Dan and Monika are starting to get on each other's nerves and the bickering drives me crazy.

This year, my conflicting thoughts are dwelling on another realization: We're losing our helpers.

This summer, we gave Dan and Monika their first real farm chores. They've been helping with a variety of chores since they could walk, but this summer, we turned responsibility over to them for some of our daily barn chores.

Their jobs were relatively small - scraping the walk, cleaning stalls and putting fresh shavings down - but their help was definitely noticed. And the responsibility did a lot to improve their work ethic.

There were days when it would have been quicker to do the chores ourselves. But, we want our kids to understand the importance of finishing the job and doing it well. We also want our kids to learn how to communicate and work together in a work environment.

I was chatting with a couple of farmers recently about kids and chores when the topic of payment came up.

"So, do you pay your kids?" one of the farmers asked.

[Read the rest of this column in the Dairy Star.]

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