Every day after school, the kids walk out of the car and run to the hens house. Candi (21 months old) is in charge of feeding them while Jaume (3 years old) counts the eggs and puts them in a basket. When everything is set they bring the hens inside and close them for the night, to ensure they are safe from any wild animal roaming around at night.
I just love observing them taking care of the animals, I try to interfere as little as I can so they can think by themselves and come up with different ways of doing it if they don’t get what they want at first. And it seems to work since they do it better everyday, quicker, and they still have fun, they always come up with new games and ideas during the task. I wish I had as imagination as they do! So much to learn from kids.
One day Jaume finds an egg with an unusual shape or colour and he shouts with excitement, sometimes Candi can’t open the lid of the trough and she asks for help to her older brother, who turns to her to help and patiently shows her how to do it… I could be looking at them all day long.
A couple of days ago, Candi got upset with a hen and she threw it an egg. Both Candi and Jaume were surprised when the egg broke and the hen started eating it. So they still learned something from it and Candi realised she can’t throw eggs anymore.
Of course it is not always this perfect, sometimes the situation can get complicated and then they start getting upset and before this turns to a fight or an argument between them or with the hens because something didn’t turn out as it should. Then I enter their “working-zone”, I tell them to calm down, the three of us sit down on the floor and discuss about it. First of all I ask them what happened, then I ask them why did this happen (so they realise by themselves what they did wrong) and then we think of a new solution in committee and give it a try again. My surprise was a few days ago when I see Jaume having some issues and all of a sudden when he is about to start shouting he looks at me, he points up with his finger 👆 and a smile on his face and he says “mom I have another idea!” And he tries a different way with a successful result. Then is when I realise I am doing it right. So proud of them!
In addition to all that… we eat yummy organic eggs and they love omelettes even more! Jaume already cooks them by himself.
I consider giving tasks to the kids since they are young very important. It gives them confidence, it develops the sense of responsibility and freedom. We need to grow kids that will be able to fend for themselves. In the future they will need to make tough decisions and move on from difficulties. They need to be ready.
So here is their responsibility, my kids are in charge of the hens and the eggs. What about yours? Feel free to comment below.
📷 Photography by Mercè Rial