One of the greatest gifts you can instill in your young person is a strong work ethic. Seriously. It sets the groundwork for confidence, focus and respect. There are elements of selflessness and compassion infused with knowing what it means to work hard. This is not easy. It takes time. Although edible arrangements and heart shaped cards may not be dropped at your doorstep; it’s so worth it. You can be assured, when kids know how to work and what that entails you are giving them more than you can comprehend. How sweet is that?
Too often kids are having life done for them. It may be as benign as refraining from having them clean up their room or to help clearing the table after dinner. There’s finishing their homework, not asking them to help carry in the groceries and a million other things. With the lack of using teachable moments it merely sets them up for delayed failures and bumps in the road that may have been avoided. When we empower our kids it can pave the road for a more stable form of character, outlook on life and treatment of others. Wahoo!
How to instill a strong work ethic in your young person:
- Team mentality: If the world revolves around us there is a big fat ‘I’ in team. A healthy team mentality begins at home. It’s going through the good and the bad through life together. That’s eating meals together at least once a week and then having everyone clear the table together. It’s all hands on deck when clearing leaves from the yard. Do life together. If everything is served and given, how can their mind think of anything but themselves?
- Chores: Boom! This is the mother ship. Established at a young age this will be second nature. Sit down with your five your old or fifteen year old and explain that everyone has a role in your home. We work together. Print out a chore list. It may consist of one task a day or three or four tasks a day. Don’t go crazy train. If you have multiple children, rotate tasks. I would suggest switching on a weekly basis for some form of consistency. Put the schedule on your fridge or a cabinet. Just place it somewhere visible.
From a young age kids can participate in chores .You send a message that everyone is part of your family unit. It conveys that you do not exist solely to serve and wait on them. When young people help out around the house at some point there is a connection (hopefully;). It is removing a dish without being asked. This is grabbing the vacuum, wiping down a countertop or asking if you would like anything during a run to the fridge. There is less self and more thought towards others. Chores have the ability to create a solid foundation for what work, effort and care looks like.
- Example: As parents you lead by example. How we conduct ourselves and handle responsibilities in and out of home are important. What is also clutch is having a chat about what their work day looks like. Whether that’s babysitting, waiting tables or as a camp counselor; it’s hard to know what to do if you don’t really know what to do. It’s not being on your cell phone. It is making sure you clean up, arrive on time and not skying out early. Little things that add up.
You said what?
- Get a job! Every young person needs responsibility. If a strong work ethic is going to be established, it’s not waiting until their 18 for this to kick in. Chores can start super early and taking on side tasks to earn money and responsibility can start as early as nine or ten. These gigs can range from offering to walk a dog, clearing leaves or even setting up shop with a lemonade stand. It’s being able to define what work is and that money doesn’t fall out of their parent’s pockets. Life lessons, baby!
As a kid, I complained about Saturday family house cleanings or having to eat dinner with my family…a lot. As an adult, the gifts my parents instilled are way beyond value. Everything was about family, being able to work and live together. It made me a better person, wife, sister and future employee. I am proud of the work ethic I possess, but it didn’t get cranked out like a bouncy ball at the grocery store. In order to raise a young person with a solid work ethic, it requires time, patience and consistency.
Young people who possess a strong work ethic are at an advantage not only for the work place, but relationships, schooling and life. How awesome is that? Know that your messages and teachings are important and can have a powerful impact on your young person. Keep pressing forward and know parenting may not be daunting, but it’s the best job in the world!
Peace, Love & Goodness!