Just wanted to share -
My kids like to work, we all work in our home. We clean together, we learn together, we prepare our food together, we clear together, we sleep together, we all treat each other with gentle words and ways.
The very first thing my children learn is how to take care of themselves, then how to care for the environment around them, next they care for each other and our family pets. We do not assign chores and we have no sibling rivalry or fighting that I have seen in other families.
The kids take great pride & intrinsic satisfaction in their work at home and how they care for each other builds their self -esteem and their compassion for each other, I believe that not allowing them to learn this is shutting a door that is very hard to open later on. That to me is very sad, reading about a child not allowed to work disturbs me..
The look on a toddlers face when they are sweeping is wonderfully intense, a 5 yr old with a dustbuster is mastering his world, a 9 yr old that cares for the plants, carefully wiping each leave and misting them is learning about the cycle of life and how we all depend on each other. They enjoy making a place for things and doing repeptitve tasks is calming, they have self control over their world at home. To my kids, work = a form of play. Honestly.
And in my not so vast
parenting experience - I have learned that children learn respect in a variety of ways and that continually changes as they age/mature. Even now at 40+ I feel I have learned a deeper level of respect then I had in my 20s and 30s.
There are many many more ways for children to learn respect then just by being respected by adults.
Part of the reason I will no longer teach in ps is the lack of respect I received from my students and the parents. It is also a large part of why we homeschool, so that I can find peers for my children that are not out of control, if we are in a hs group with children and adults that do not follow rules and are not respectful (which happens as much as the ps crowd) we can leave to find a dif group- or ask them to leave.
Maggie05 - your post is insightful