Little Hands


Hope Folding Socks

If you want to have kids be helpful then you need to train them from a young age. They start life being carried and seeing us work. Then they are tagging along at our feet learning to pull the right weeds and not the transplants. Pretty soon they play in the water and suds and start washing the dishes, setting the table and clearing after dinner. Learning to fold cloths and matching up socks is a skill and it can be a fun game. Those who fold the laundry get to watch a video, listen music or hear to a book being read. Work can be pleasurable.

Each year they have more skills and they pass them on as well. In time they develop the coordination and muscles to hold a heavy chainsaw at arms length graduating to wood cutter. As they grow they develop more complex skills until they are able to run most of the farm by themselves if they need to do so.

They grow into their roles gradually over many years. Each new task is an adventure and they learn to ask, “How can I help?” The challenge for us is always having an answer.

Outdoors: 29°F/10°F Sunny, 4″ snow in last two days
Farm House: 55°F/41°F Put out three round bales of hay
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/61°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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6 Responses to Little Hands

  1. ranch101 says:

    It’s amazing the number of people I run into who don’t understand that simple principle. I still remember my pediatrician’s surprise at my eldest’s one-year checkup when I told him she already had “chores”. Now my youngest feeds the dogs and helps load the dishwasher (both with lots of supervision as she’s only 2) and the older ones help with lots of other things.

  2. heyercapital says:

    Every mouth to feed comes with two hands to help….

  3. It's me says:

    What is this room? Describe it? I’m fascianted with the angles and arches… I just can’t quite picture the whole layout. Can you help please?

  4. Hayden says:

    it’s so true. I spent my first 6 years on an apple orchard and I still remember the satisfaction I got from helping out and doing “big people” chores… even though I was only 6 when my parents gave it up.

    I also remember my mom’s pride when she reported back to my dad that our city pediatrician was amazed at what good muscle tone we girls had.

    Growing up watching parents work and learning to help provides a wonderful sense of self confidence.

  5. MeadowLark,

    That is the master bedroom in our tiny cottage. One enters through the arch of brick which sit on pillars.

    The bed is a raised platform above storage space. In such a small house we use ever cubic inch of space for storage, much like on a yacht or space ship.

    The room is rectangular, almost square, but the bed is a trapezoid which fits our sleeping pattern giving maximum space where we use it and less space down at the foot of the bed. The bed shape also gives an illusion of a longer room than there really is. Think house of Escher. I did this sort of trick in many places to give a sense of greater space within the 252 sq-ft of the tiny cottage.

    The ceiling is a low arch for strength, poured into a mold using white concrete. Embedded in the ceiling are pieces of granite and quartz for accents in the corners and to make a parade of animals.

    There is a bookshelf that runs across the ceiling and another perpendicular to that on a granite shelf above the opening where my marine aquarium will go this winter.

    The walls will eventually be parged with an eggshell white concrete covering the cement blocks. This is much like doing adobe. There are various test patches around the cottage of this technique.

    Light comes in from the opening Marvin window on the east – a gift from my father.

  6. Evelyn says:

    Haven't checked in for a while, so I'm late! This post is so true! When I was young, a good part of our income was from renting furnished apartments. I remember when the grates from the stove were heavy for me! But, I carried they while those older carried the big stuff. I carried the cushions while my mother & father carried the couch. As I grew older, I carried heavier stuff.
    My son collected soda bottles for the deposit. We lived on a dead end street & he'd go 2x a week w/ his wagon to collect them from the neighbors porches. He paid for all his Christmas presents to our large family when he was 3 yrs old. He learned colors & early decision making by sorting laundry. There is SO much to be learned by participating in everyday living & not sitting on the couch watching the boob tube!
    When my children were young they thought I was a mean slave driver. Now they see their friends & thank me for teaching them! It's much easier if you're allowed to homeschool. When & where I was bringing up my children (in Los Angeles) if you didn't send your children to a recognised 'school' it was considered abuse. They said you were depriving them of an education. I had to take care of their education after school. Your children are so far ahead of the pack!
    Being a contributing member of society takes training from early life. That's why there are so few of us supporting all the rest!

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