• | October 4, 2016
One of the best things you can do for your child is to help them develop a strong work ethic. Perhaps more so than anything you teach them, the manner in which they approach their work or any task can have a strong impact on their life as adults. Everyone complains about “kids these days” being lazy or entitled. Here are some tips to help keep your child from being lumped into that group.

  1. Start early. As with many other lists and articles on here, a repeating theme is this: start young. Habits are easier to form at a young age and you want to encourage the good ones. This means teaching your child to clean up their room, put their toys away when they’re done, etc. Don’t just shake your head and roll your eyes as you go about picking up after them. This is an opportunity to teach responsibility.

  2. Taking out the trash, cleaning the table, folding laundry, etc. Not only is this a great way to get your own chores done, Tom Sawyer, but it’s a good way to teach your kids how to work and even more, to prepare them for all of those lovely things they’re in for as an adult. Whether or not you choose to give your child an allowance for chores is up to you but it’s important to teach them that there are things we have to do because they need doing and not just because we get rewarded for it.

  3. Get a family pet. A family pet is a great way to teach kids the value of caring for something other than themselves as well as an opportunity to learn responsibility and scheduling. Unfortunately, too often it’s daddy who winds up being the one walking fluffy at midnight in the middle of a snowstorm. Getting a family pet, such as a dog, and putting your kid in charge of walking, cleaning, and feeding that pet is a great way to teach responsibility early. Just make sure they stick to it.

  4. No Quitting allowed. Children are lazy, get bored easily, and distracted more easily. Don’t let them quit. Don’t force them to do things they don’t want to, but teach them the importance of finishing something they set out to do. If they want to read a book, get frustrated, and want to put it down; encourage them to finish. If they want to learn to ride a bicycle and they fall down and want to quit; teach them to get back on. There’s value in learning a sense of accomplishment.

  5. Summers are for summer jobs. Not playing video games all day long. One of the best things you can do for your teen is to encourage them to pursue a summer job, even if its only part time. Not only will they lean valuable job skills but they’ll also begin to learn about the value of money and this opens the door for other important lessons such as budgeting and saving.

Developing a strong work ethic is one of the best character traits you can pass on to your children. Not only will it make them responsible, productive teenagers, but the skills and lessons they learn will translate into them being responsible, productive adults as well.

Good luck.