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    The Darndest Things: Work Before Play

    December 8, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    This lesson, that we work before we play, is one that I have been emphasizing here at the microhomestead. It is amazing to me that children can fit things in using one order, but the reverse doesn’t work so well. What I mean is that if children are asked to do their chores before they play, everything gets done {including the play}, but if they play before working, the work suffers.

    Last week, early one morning, I reminded A. that we work before play, and so before she began to play, it was imperative that she dressed and made her bed.

    Later, right after breakfast, she appeared in her pajamas asking if she could please have a piece of candy. I told her that she couldn’t have one right then, but she would be allowed to have one later on, right before she went outside for Playtime. Then I sent her on her way, reminding her that it was Work Time and that she should be sure and do her work.

    Twenty minutes later, I found her, in her pajamas {bed also unmade}, playing dolls with Q. I pulled her aside, and said to her, “A., you are playing. But it is not time for that. What do you do before you play?”

    She gave me the Thoughtful Look, eyes earnestly searching the ceiling for the Right Answer.

    “Ummm…We eat candy?”

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  • Reply Brandy December 9, 2008 at 4:48 am

    It is amazing how stubborn children can be sometimes! Thankfully, they are born adorable. 🙂

  • Reply Kansas Mom December 9, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Kansas Dad and I both enjoyed this post. First Daughter asks for a “piece of candy” at every meal.

    She doesn’t have trouble getting dressed, though. She does have trouble with her work. Last night she had two time outs (and two toy time outs) before the markers got picked up. We were so exhausted from the struggle that we didn’t bother tackling any other toys with her.

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