Shovel snow together and shovel away danger

There's an inverse relationship between bullying and a teens, tweens or child's relationshp to parents and adults. Children, kids, tweens, and teens are more susceptible to being bullies or being bullied when they have a weakened tie to parents. Chores are an excellent modality for parents to connect with children and teens and tweens and give them structure. Chores, like shovelling snow, teach self discipline, teamwork and nurtures self esteem. This shot was taken after Boston, Mass. got 41 inches of snow for the season in January. In Massachusetts, that's a lot of snow.
The family that shovels snow together is connected — insurance against many youth maladies.

My son Ian and I spent a few hours clearing snow from the driveway and moving wood from the woodpile to outside the back door. I multitasked: I got the chores done; got exercise; and connected with my son.

 
Chores provide opportunities for children, tweens and teens to work on a family team, even if the team is two people — mother and son. Relying on children, tweens and teens to contribute to the common good teaches young people:
  • * they are valued and have something to contribute;
  • * self-discipline;
  • * self-esteem;
  • * skills;
  • * a work ethic: and
  • * sometimes they have to do something they just don’t feel like.
One of the benefits to doing chores is the connection created between  kids and adults. This attachment can prevent a child from many dangers, including becoming a bully or from getting bullied according to “Hold onto your Kids: Why parents need to matter more than peers” by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Dr. Gabor Mate.
 
The book  gives examples of how children, tweens and teens who are attached to their parents are better off in myriad ways. They are less likely to become bullies or victims. They are more healthy emotionally.
 
One thing I found most interesting is that when a tween or teens is considered “Cool” they are cut off from their emotions –a precarious way to live. It’s more healthy to admit futility by breaking down into tears. There is much in life that can’t be changed. Crying in futility is healthy and normal. Sometimes I use this therapy myself.
 
Neufeld described a story in which he was interviewed on TV with parents who had lost a child to suicide after being bullied, and with a mother and her daughter who came home from school every day for three months in tears about bullying. 
 
Afterward, the host  of the show asked Neufeld if the girl was at risk of suicide. Quite the opposite. Her tears over the futility of the situation were healthy. She was alive. The others had perished without a word to their parents, who didn’t know anything was awry. She had an emotional lifeline to her mother.
 
Take the time and effort to use family meals, chores and family meetings to stay connected to your children, tweens and teens. Not only will you have a clean driveway at the end of the day and your kids will know how to cook and clean, you’ll have a resilient skilled young person who is connected to you —  insurance against many maladies.
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Explore posts in the same categories: attachment, Bullying, chores, conscious parenting, Family meetings, teenagers

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One Comment on “Shovel snow together and shovel away danger”

  1. Atagirl Says:

    Put your blog post in action yesterday. We all had a blast getting some fresh air and I was thrilled we got amchore completed. Wish I could upload the photo I took. We have a long driveway and you can see the smiles of satisfaction on their faces!


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