6 Ways to Teach Your Kids a Good Work Ethic
All the skill in the world won't benefit your kids if they don't have the initiative to apply it consistently to whatever they do; so learning to work diligently is fundamental to any kind of success.
- Create opportunities for them to work young, and often. Start with small chores for little ones and more up to more demanding responsibilities as they grow.
- Don't hire away all the tough jobs. The trend in suburban America to hire housekeepers, yardmen, etc., may be robbing our kids of all the traditional opportunities to learn to work. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the actual skills they're using (cutting grass) won't benefit them later (after all, he's going to be a surgeon, right?). Learning to get up and do what needs doing, no matter what it is, is important to their future success.
- Treat their studies as a key work ethic training ground: consistent completion of homework, getting the study hours in for a big exam. Basically, school is your children's job. It is an excellent environment for developing a work ethic that will serve them well in later life.
- Let them suffer the consequences of failing to work hard. The earlier you do this, the less painful and the more productive it will be. If the penalty for not doing your chores is not getting an allowance or not having friends over—don't cave in. If the penalty for not turning your book report in on time is a bad grade, let them suffer the consequence.
- Model a consistent work ethic in your own life.
- Treat having a work ethic as an element of character, which it is.
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