The family is a perfect laboratory for teaching the value of work. Work is perhaps the most valuable skill we can gain because it determines so much about the quality of our lives.
Hard working people usually end up with high paying jobs or they create their own businesses. Hard work is necessary for success in school, athletics, jobs, and any other area in which a person desires to be successful.
What you work hard at isn’t as important as simply working hard, as is illustrated in a saying by Martin Luther King Jr. “If a man is called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
One of the countless jobs of a parent is to teach their children to work hard at everything they do. How? Start with chores. If you don’t have a system of daily or weekly chores for your children, create one today. Not only do household chores teach children how to work, they give children a sense of belonging and ownership in the family.
Children need chores and tasks to do in a family because these things give them the sense that they are needed and wanted in that family. Children who don’t feel needed are more rebellious and often make poor choices later in life. Every child and adult needs to feel like they matter and are needed by others. Work gives this feeling of worth to all people.
Start giving your children some responsibilities that you have been taking upon yourself. Many times doing things around the house are much more efficient if you do them yourself. That helps you, but it doesn’t help your children. Delegate tasks to your children like gathering and sorting laundry, washing dishes, cleaning cars, mowing lawns, weeding, sweeping, etc. Think about the things you do each day and identify some of your responsibilities that could be delegated to your children to teach them how to work.
You can encourage your adolescent children to work by giving them the responsibility of paying for their own clothing, car insurance, and any other wants that they have. In order to pay their own way, they will need to get a job. Encourage them to find a part time job as soon as they are able. Enjoying adolescence is important, but so is work. Most teenagers can handle school and a part time job. They may be busy, but life will only get busier. Encouraging teenage children to work part time helps them to prepare for the future and helps them learn to manage their time in the present.
When kids start working to pay their own way, they appreciate their things much more and they learn to wait for the things they want. Teaching children delayed gratification when it comes to material things is essential to their success as good financial managers over their money and other resources. When children get whatever they want right away from their parents, they don’t learn to wait for things. Children who don’t learn to wait often end up as compulsive spenders in huge amounts of debt as adults.
Not teaching delayed gratification has consequences that are not monetary. Children who never learn to work for what they want can resort to unethical practices such as cheating, lying, stealing, etc. Children must learn to wait and work for things.
In summary, parents are able to create hard working children by assigning chores and encouraging teenagers to get part time jobs. A hard working child will be successful in whatever they do, and parents have the power to teach that ability to be successful. Start today!
[photo from jupiterimages.com]