Sharon Brosseau describes the motivation
behind having our children work with us
at the Cambridge Press Conference
Our children at home cannot understand this heated controversy about their life. They love the activities they do with their parents and friends. We are not raising our children to be so acutely aware of which activity “makes money” and which doesn’t. We do not live this way as a people. Every person is essential in our community, no matter what they do. Our life is based on loving and serving, no matter who we are. Every person’s role is vital.
As our children grow into adulthood, they learn to handle and manage money. But in our daily life, they do many valuable and essential things. When they are helping me in the house or yard, or when they are doing their lessons, or when they are helping their father in a cottage industry, we don’t want to teach them to rate their lives in terms of the consciousness of money. You cannot place a monetary value on simply doing something together with people you love, as if some tasks are “worth more” than other tasks.
It is in this context that we take our children with us to work in our cottage industries, just as we take them with us to work in our houses and yards. We have a life together. It is a life of love and care. We all share whatever income we get, because we all contribute, no matter what exactly we do in the community. The children contribute when they do their home-school lessons with all their heart, just as they contribute when they help with supper, when they help in a cottage industry, or when they play musical instruments so we all can dance and sing. We praise them for every contribution they make.
Because of the way we live, we have never considered ourselves as possibly having a problem with the issue of child labor. Our children themselves simply cannot relate to this concept. We have a life, and it focuses on love, not money.
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