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One of the saddest changes in this culture over the past 30 or so years is that children are no longer taught to work. Instead of teaching our children a good work ethic and diligence, we are teaching them that everything else is more important. We have an epidemic of laziness in this country.
I know many of us feel that there will be enough time for work when our children grow up, which is true to a certain extent. However, if they are never taught to work when they are young, they will not magically learn this when they grow older.
How do I know this? Because we own a business that hires young people as our employees and it is a rare thing to find a hard-working, diligent young person. Most applicants expect to be given a good salary, great benefits, and lots of extra incentives, but they don't want to work for it. They expect it all to be handed to them on a silver platter, giving nothing in return. Thankfully, there are still some hard-working, young people full of integrity out there and we have a great group of employees.
Of course, I am not suggesting that we use our children as our slaves, but we need to stop the sports and playtime long enough to have them join some of the family chores. Kids who know how to work are better citizens, less self-centered, and tend to look at what they can give to the world, rather than what they can get from it.
Have them join Dad in helping to fix the shed or do the lawn work on a Saturday or help Mom bake or do laundry during the week. Don't worry if it isn't done perfectly. It is more important that your child learn to help fold towels, than that the towel is folded just right. Sometimes when teaching children to work it is hard to remember our priorities, isn't it?
And one more note on this-- your kids will complain. If they don't complain when you ask them to do something, be pleasantly surprised. My kids complained most of their lives. And sometimes they still do. But we have made it clear that if they are going to live here and take part in all of the benefits of living here, they will also take part in the work involved to have what we have. Most of the time, they do so with willing hearts and hands. But that was not the case when they were younger. Don't give up! Make them do their chores and make them do them right. Your child's future boss will thank you!
p.s. Find this post and other great posts on the Blog Hops at Frugally Sustainable and Deep Roots At Home.