Moving from Sydney to a vineyard in Orange has been a wonderful if not crazy time for our little family. Our children, Master 10 and Missy 6, have proved hugely resilient, resourceful and adaptive. But managing our needs plus two, busy small people along with a 55-acre property is hectic and without any family nearby we’ve come to rely on the kids to pitch in - a lot! We've actually been surprised as they seem to appreciate our predicament and this has made them better versions of themselves (well, most days). But success with enlisting the kids to help in the business varies from day to day. What I've learnt on this so far (I think I still have some way to go yet - but here goes!!)...
- Kids love instant gratification-style jobs - especially tasks where they really add value i.e. like painting a fence, pulling the wires up/down on each vine row or neatly stacking irrigation pipes (well that's very specific I know but I was running out of ideas - to be fair).
- Boys love anything that involves. an engine. Think nosiy leaf blowers (what do these thing actually do?), lawn mower (preferably a ride-on) or even keeping Dad company while he’s in the tractor.
- Kids will only be engaged for very short periods of time if a job is physically demanding (30 min max in our experience) – desuckering was a perfect recent example for us, they went hard and they went home (pretty quickly).
- Praise goes a long way but bribery goes further. I admit we’ve resorted to bribery with the kids more than once (but who is counting anyway, right?).
- And finally, sometimes just being outside as a fam is enough. If the kids are happy being outside while we work but they are not working themselves, that’s ok – at least we are all together (later iPad!).