To teach your children a work ethic can be a hard mission for parents, but it is necessary.
Kids with a strong work ethic have a tendency to be more responsible and more likely to strive better in life.
Children, in general, do not like to work much, they prefer playing. So, parents can follow these tips to both let your child have fun and still learn to complete simple tasks.
1. Start with chores:
Young kids, from the age of three, can start to learn about work ethic.
To teach young children a good work ethic, parents are advised to begin by teaching them how to do chores.
Simple household chores that are suitable for children are namely watering the garden, taking out the rubbish, feeding the pet or put away their toys.
Doing chores is not taking away your kids’ playtime. Once your children have the habit of helping their parents, they will learn that service is a part of family life.
Besides, doing chores is a way for children to contribute. Many kids are willing to help. They will feel that they are valuable and have more responsibility for the family.
2. Let’s have fun with work
Tedious work will not be effective in teaching your kids about work ethic. Parents should make work more exciting and interesting so kids can get motivated.
First, parents should tell their kids that the whole family appreciates their effort in working.
That way will make the children more positive about contributing to family well-being.
Secondly, parents should be creative with chores.
Parents can pin a colorful, selectable list of household chores on a board or on the refrigerator and prepare some color markers for your child to freely choose what they can do.
Or parents can make some “titles” for the kids and reward them accordingly.
For example: “Most Hardworking One” for the child who completes a lot of tasks, “Best Room-cleaner” for the child who is good with tidying their rooms or “Most Helpful Assistant” for the kid who helps with meal-preparing frequently.
There are a lot of ways that parents can make work fun and enjoyable for their children. Motivating your kids to do work more is a good way for them to learn about a strong work ethic.
3. Accepting mistakes and failure
Do not set the perfect expectations for every work your child does. It is likely that your kid will fail to do some task or not do it properly.
But the important thing is that they put their effort into working.
A small child can forget to water the plant for several days, and it withers as a result. Instead of yelling at his face for forgetting, parents can get him a new tree and ask him not to neglect to water again.
If your teenager child gets fired from a part-time job, ask him or her about the cause, giving them helpful advice and help him or her to get a new one. Do not make any excuse on behalf of him or her.
It is fundamental that your children know how their doings can lead to bad consequences and know how to avoid making the same mistake again.
Don’t be disappointed at them for failing – everyone can learn from their mistakes.
4. Make sure your children understand the meaning of work
It is important that your children can get a better understanding of the purpose of work.
Parents should make sure that the kids know how their work helps to contribute to the family and makes great value.
As a result, kids will feel more responsible and motivated to work.
Being self-conscious about the significance of a good work ethic will also boost self-esteem.
Parents can start with conversations. You can tell your child that working is producing goods (for example, plant and water a tree and get fruits from it), serving people (helping with cooking so you can have a good meal) and even for the greater good (picking up trash in the neighborhood helps to keep the environment clean).
A good way to start conversations about working is sharing your own experience with your child and the lessons learned.
Whether it is a good or bad experience, kids will be empowered by their parents’ stories.
You can find out more ways to explain the value of work to your child through the internet and other media.
A book called “The Work of Children: Helping Children Understand the Meaning, Purpose, and Value of Work” is a perfect choice for any parent seeking real-life stories and lessons about this aspect.
5. Patience is a must
Not all the work in this world is fun and interesting.
Generally, work can be tiring, lengthy and boring to your child.
When teaching work ethic to high school students, you should expect that they will complain a lot about their work.
Do not tell them to stop complaining and “just accept it”. Venting out about work is something everyone should do.
If your kids keep their dissatisfaction unsaid, it will be discouraging and irritating in the long term.
While they complaining, parents should lend an ear and give them encouragement to help them move on.
6. Be the model for good work ethic
It is a fact that kids learn mostly through copying what parents do.
So if you want your children to have a strong work ethic, you should have one first.
Parents should be a good role model to show their kids the importance and meaning of work through actions. You can share your stories of careers with your children.
And when parents want their son and daughter to help with chores, you should also do that several times. That way, your kids will get the hang of it faster.
Kids can feel unfair if you only sit on the couch and ask them to work. Therefore, parents should always pitch in working too.
A positive attitude towards working will help both parents and children acquire good work ethic faster.
7. School is the workplace too
School is like a mini model of society.
Homework and schoolwork are similar to normal work we do every day.
Parents should teach children to treat homework and schoolwork like a real job. Completion on time and hardworking will lead to a good result.
On the other hand, missing homework or breaking school rules will affect your kids negatively.
Kids need to know these two sides of working so they can be instilled a good work ethic.
Besides, a hard-working student will be rewarded – either honorable reward, praise or scholarship – just like getting the reward for doing a good job. This will help your child to work harder.
8. Schedule the work
When work becomes a daily part of their life, your children will think of it as a regular routine and be more active in working.
Instead of pushing your kids to clean their rooms once in a while, parents can ask them to do so every day. In that way, their rooms will always clean and tidy.
Or if they vacuum the floor every day, it will become a habit and less of a chore. Gradually, children will be willing to work without any urging from parents.
9. Giving rewards, not bribes
Some parents are desperately trying to get their kids to do chores, so they even compromise or use bribes to get things done.
However, this is not the right thing to do.
If parents only resort to bribes to make your kids work, they will never see the true value of working. They will only know the bribes they can get.
In the long run, kids will no longer be motivated by the meaning of work. And they can be unreasonable and persistently asking for bribes over small work.
Instead, parents should reward them for good work.
Not every time, but from time to time, when you feel that your kids deserve it.
Never tell them beforehand that “If you do this, I will get you this”. But parents should say “Thank you for working hard. I think you deserve this small gift”.
Parents should be able to distinguish rewards and bribes and learn how to use the reward properly.
10. Joining hands with your kids
When working alone, the kid can easily be distracted and inefficient.
Furthermore, working for the first time with a child can be really confusing.
So, parents should work together with your children. The kids can learn things quickly with your help, and parents can monitor the progress of their work.
This is also a good way to let your children learn about teamwork – a part of a good work ethic.
Sharing work will help bond the family ties, too.
When parents and children joining hands and gardening together, the work will be more fun and less tiring. And the result will be good memories for the whole family.
Children will not feel isolated when working with parents. In some cases, they can even develop similar work interests like their parents’.
Instilling a strong work ethic to your children is not a task you can get done in one day.
It is a journey that both parents and children have to contribute at the same time to get good results.