The Law of the Harvest and the One Dish Method

The Law of the Harvest and the One Dish Method

If you’re not familiar with the phrase “Law of the Harvest,” you’re certainly familiar with the principle. The basic idea is that if you want to harvest something later, you have to plant now. Or if you want to have or do something later, you have to do something now.

For example, if you want to live a long, healthy, happy life later, the Law of the Harvest says you need to eat right and exercise today. If you’re like me, this can be a tough law. I mean usually, this is how I feel about exercise:

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But the Law of the Harvest is a critical part of life! It’s the whole reason all of us go to work every day. We want to eat and heat our homes next month, right? So we have to work today to collect that paycheck in a few weeks to cover those expenses. Our children need to understand this principle at an early age. But how do we teach them?

Teach Kids the Law of the Harvest with the One Dish Method

Recently, my wife Liza and I started watching Tidying Up on Netflix. In the show, Marie Kondo teaches the KonMari method, which is her method for tidying a home. For those who put in the effort, the results are life-changing. My wife ordered both of her books, and we’re just starting the journey ourselves now (you can get them on Amazon here and here).

The KonMari method got me thinking about a better way to do dishes so they don’t pile up so bad in our kitchen. With 8 people in our home, the dishes really add up over the day. That’s where the One Dish method originated.

The One Dish method is a simple way to teach kids about the Law of the Harvest. Get them one dish and utensil of each type:

  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Cup
  • Fork
  • Spoon
  • Knife

Let them pick each item out so they feel ownership for the item. When they want to have something to eat or drink, they use their dish and/or utensil. When they’re done eating or drinking, they need to wash the dish/utensil for the next time. That’s it!

Over time, they’ll learn a few things:

  1. If they want to eat or drink something, they’re going to need a dish/utensil.
  2. Mom/Dad will not wash all of their dishes/utensils for them.
  3. If they want to eat something next time, they’re going to have to wash their dishes themselves.
  4. It’s easier to get food off of the dishes if they clean it right away instead of right before they want to use it.

Eventually, they’ll start washing their dishes right after they eat. That’s the spirit of the Law of the Harvest.

Other Benefits of the One Dish Method

There are other benefits to this method beyond the principles of the Law of the Harvest. Here are just a few:

  • Improved work ethic in your kids.
  • Fewer dishes piled up in the sink (less clutter).
  • Less time doing dishes after dinner means more time together as a family.
  • Your kids will start to apply the Law of the Harvest to other areas of life.
  • It will prepare your kids for when they move out of the house someday. They’ll already be familiar with how newly-independent young adults manage dishes all over the world!

The Law of the Harvest Supports Time Management Principles

The best part about teaching your kids the Law of the Harvest early in life is that it helps them learn the fundamentals of time management. When they do important things at the right time (washing the dish), it keeps that thing from becoming urgent later (when they don’t have anything to eat on).

Teach them time management principles early on and their levels of stress will be much lower throughout their lives.

What do you think of the One Dish method? How do you teach your kids the Law of the Harvest? Let us know in the comments below!


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