Every parent wants to keep their kids away from hard and difficult parts of life for as long as they can. This is natural and noble; life is hard enough and kids should be kids. However, it’s also imperative for kids to be taught the value of hard work early on.
This will help them understand and appreciate money more and allow them to form a strong work ethic that could apply to education as well as work.
Be an example for your kids
This is the most basic advice there is, but it’s also the hardest one to live by. Kids mostly learn by observing what their parents do and it’s your duty to be an example for your kids when it comes to hard work and effort. This doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect, and you won’t be, but it’s also important to show them that you can make a mistake.
The best way to do is to talk to your kids about your work and the obligations that it entails. You shouldn’t complain about them, but the kids should know that the amount of obligations increases as they get older.
An easy way to practice having obligations is to include children in house chores. This should start as early as possible and should be related to their rooms, as well as to the rest of the house. The chores shouldn’t be physically demanding, and they should change and grow as the kids do.
It’s up to you to decide whether your kids should get some allowance in return for their work, or will you treat those chores as an integral part of the family life. Both options have their good and bad sides.
Getting their first job
When you decide they are old enough, you should encourage your kids to get their first job. This should be something easy and simple, that won’t interfere with their school tasks. It should also be a job you could have control over, like working in a local diner. Some of these jobs could also be done from home, which is an even safer option. For instance, kids could get paid to take surveys online which is something they can do in their spare time.
The best course of action is to allow your kids to keep all the money they earn because there are a lot of lessons to be learned that way.
Praise them for a job well done
A lot of parents hesitate to praise their kids too much in fear of spoiling them. However, there are few things as encouraging as hearing that you’ve done good work and that your parents are proud of you. Make sure you do this in a clear and straightforward way.
This goes for big and small tasks alike. The kids should feel appreciated and supported.
Failure is a part of life and therefore a part of work as well. Be straightforward with your kids about the possibility of something going wrong at work and them failing at it. This will make it easier for them to cope if, and when, something actually goes wrong.
If something happens, talk it over and acknowledge their fault in the mistake, but only if there truly is one. However, make sure that kids know that there’s always room for improvement and for getting a second chance. Failures don’t need to be a big deal, at least at a young age.
Not all work is, or should be, about money. Sometimes you need to give back to your community and support a local charitable organisation with your time and effort as well as money. The kids will greatly benefit from being a part of such a project because it will expose them to a world different from their own, and show them the value of work.
The charity you decide to support as a family should be appropriate for your kid’s age. Don’t expose young children to violence or drugs even if they are supposed to help those affected by them.
The kids should learn the value of hard work and the role of money through examples in your family life. They should also try to work a bit on their own, and should be exposed to both good and bad sides of having a job.