How to Teach Work Ethic to Kids
Dr. James Dobson on Teaching our Kids to Work
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
Look around the United States. We seem to be losing our work ethic as a nation. It is becoming an epidemic. Too many people are in the boat and not enough are pulling the boat. People would rather take from the government rather than work hard. Too many living on government aid become a lifestyle and is passed on generation to generation. I am not talking about people who are unable to work, but those who are able to and refuse. We used to have a strong Judeo-Christian work ethic in this country but it is long gone know. If we do not change this trend, we are on the path towards Greece only much worse. It is time to teach our kids to learn how to work. Knowing how to work hard is one of the best skills that we can give them because it will lay the foundation for everything else that they will do. I am so thankful that my parents took the time to teach me how to work, which includes balancing work and life. It has been a great asset in my life. Let us look at how to pass this skill on to our kids.
Let Your Kids see you Working Hard
The starting point in teaching your kids any moral habit is to model it yourself. Lead by example. Kids will buy in better if they see you doing what you say. When you work around the house, let them see you work hard and accomplish tasks. Getting up and going to work, each and every day is a great way to demonstrate this as well. Also, if your workplace allows, bring your kids to work and let them see what you do and how you interact with your co-workers.
Teach Them why Work is Good
Work may not always be fun, but it is good for us. Let us take a look at a few of the reasons why it is good for us.
Protestant Work Ethic
A Strong Work Ethic Helps us to be Self-Reliant
A strong work ethic is one of the building blocks of freedom in a free society because it allows you to be free. As the old saying goes, “Hard work pays off.” In all honesty, giving it your all every time at work, for example, can mean that you keep your job in bad economic times and someone who does not work as hard loses his or hers instead.
Valuable Parenting Resource
Hard Work offers a Sense of Accomplishment
God gave us work in the Garden of Eden when he put Adam in charge of the garden. He increased the burden of work as a result of the fall. Every time that you put in a hard day of work, especially if it is physical work, you come away with a good feeling and a sense of accomplishing something.
Hard Work Results in Opportunities
Hard work is good because it leads to all kinds of opportunities. If you work hard in school and get good grades, you have the opportunity to receive scholarships to go to college. If you work hard during an internship, you increase the chances of being hired after it is over. A strong work ethic at work leads to opportunities to be promoted.
Assign Your Kids age Appropriate Chores
A great way to teach your kids to develop a strong work ethic is to give them age appropriate chores. Kids at even a young age can help out around the house. Both of my sons love to help me when I am fixing something around the house or when I am building something in my workshop in the garage. One of the first things that my wife and I taught our boys when they were very young was to pick up their toys and put them away. As they get older, have them put their clothes away after being washed. The key here is to follow up and make sure that they not only do it but also to do it right. If you have teenagers, have them cut the grass and shovel snow. I want to be clear that I am not saying to load them down with all of the chores or so that they only have time to do chores, but to progressively learn how to work and to do their best every time.
Praise and Reward Them
As kids learn to work, they should be rewarded with praise and rewards. It could be as simple as letting them play their favorite game for an extra half hour or give them a piece of candy. Another idea if they do an exceptional job is to take them out to their favorite restaurant or for ice cream. As they get older, pay them an allowance in exchange for doing their chores.
Developing a strong work ethic in your kids is a critical skill that will help to set them apart. It will give them confidence and a sense of accomplishment. In addition, it is important to start at a young age to train them to work hard. Be sure to praise and reward them for a job well done.