Teaching children the dignity of work Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

I found an excellent article on “Age-appropriate ways to teach kids the dignity of work at home” by Erin Broestl on the website. Erin points out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him.” So, she says, roll up your kids’ sleeves and help them honor Jesus with a little elbow grease!

Five suggestions she has for age-appropriate jobs:

1. Give them a job they can do at their level. Start with simple tasks like cleaning up after themselves after play. She notes that even a three-year-old can take a damp sponge and scrub a portion of the floor where they may have left pieces of Play-Doh.

2. Let them fold the laundry. Starting at age five, she gives her kids 25 cents a week to match their socks and underwear. Older kids can move on to folding more complicated things.

3. Show them how to use a broom. Or better yet, a series of brooms, starting with toy brushes and dustpans (I remember those) to small brooms. She suggests adding music to make the sweeping go faster.

4. Don’t complain about the dishes. Kids can help cook and bake, and they can also help clean up the kitchen. I suggest urging kids to get in the habit of taking their dirty dishes to the countertop and eventually washing them or putting them in the dishwater.

5. Give them the opportunity to impress you. Encourage them to find ways to help. You might be surprised what they come up with on their own.

One of the nicest things I’ve heard from our grandchildren is, “Grandma, how can I help?” Take them up on their offer!