The lady hired Isaac and was so impressed with the job that he did that she posted a referral in the classifieds for him. She called him a "very mannerly dolly", which caused quite a bit of embarrassment on his part.
Despite his embarrassment, Isaac is learning the meaning of the scripture, "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." This has led to several conversations about gaining and keeping a good reputation.
The job he was finishing this morning was one that he received because of this lady's referral. The gentleman told Isaac he really appreciated his work ethic and paid him accordingly. Raking lawns is a lot harder than it sounds, trust me, we raked our back yard this week and I'm speaking from experience!
While there are many different view points about raising children and if/how frequently/how early they should or should not be allowed to work, my personal opinion has always been that it's our duty as parents to prepare our children for life. Like it or not, work is a part of life and it does not necessarily come natural to some or even most children. Attitudes are caught not necessarily taught, in other words, do your children see you taking joy in your housework or do they see you modeling a complaining, negative attitude every time you have to clean the bathroom?
Children need to learn to work hard, do a job thoroughly and most importantly to learn that there is joy in work. Because I felt it was my responsibility to train my children to be good workers, I began this training early. Children love to imitate adults and I used this to my benefit. When they were just toddlers and wanted to help with the dishes, I pulled up a chair and let them rinse while I washed. Yes, we had more water on the counter and floor than in the sink, but we had a grand time. Singing, sharing stories...my children loved helping with the dishes.
When that three-year-old wanted to dust, I assented quickly, hiding pennies to remind him of the places that were easily forgotten. My nine-year-old still asks me to hide pennies for her, although she prefers "dimes and quarters"!
Our children have had many different opportunities to work for other people; picking rocks, raking leaves, mowing lawns, hauling & stacking wood, painting bee boxes, weeding gardens, babysitting, cleaning houses, taking care of animals, secretarial work, photo shoots, and working at the local coffee shop. None of these would have been possible, had they not learned to work hard and to do a thorough job when they were young in our home.
Just recently, Anna's boss from the Coffee Shop called and told me how much she loved and appreciated Anna and how glad she was that she was back in town. A man called me up to tell me what a hard worker Kara is.
As parents, we are now reaping the benefits of the seeds that we sowed into their lives when they were younger.