Are You Teaching Your Child the Value of Hard Work?
Raising children comes with a whole host of responsibilities. Among the most important of these is instilling skills and character traits in your child that will serve them well as they mature to adulthood. These traits include kindness, compassion and honesty, but another character trait that will come into play throughout a person’s life is work ethic.
Teaching your child to have a strong work ethic can often be a cumbersome chore (no pun intended), but it’s best to get started early. Simply using words to inspire your child to work hard is often not enough to ingrain a deeply rooted sense of responsibility and dedication. Providing examples and enforcing practical application of a positive work ethic will help teach your child this valuable lesson during Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work day and throughout the entire year.
What wins: Natural talent or hard work?
To define a strong work ethic, you simply need to examine what traits are necessary for a successful life. Intelligence is important and so is initiative, but oftentimes as an adult you find yourself in circumstances where your natural born gifts aren’t enough. It is during these times that your work ethic determines whether you succeed or fail.
In such cases, what will separate your performance from the rest is your dedication and commitment to seeing the task through. When called upon to muster an extra dose of grit and determination, those who can draw upon their previous experiences — including their upbringing — are best able to summon what is necessary.
Ways to instill a strong work ethic
Most likely, work ethic isn't something a child is born with. Even if commitment and dedication come naturally to a child, whether this trait is further developed is dependent upon the examples they witness and the standard by which they are judged. Displaying your desire to work hard toward achieving your goals will do more to inspire a child than anything you could say. Therefore, making sure you exhibit a strong work ethic will create a positive example that your child can follow.
Another important avenue for instilling a strong work ethic is recognizing effort through praise and rewards. Whether your child is successful or misses the mark in a particular setting, praising the amount of effort they put forth will encourage an attitude that will translate into a strong work ethic. If your child wins or achieves high marks without putting forth much effort, while the results may be positive, the lessons learned do little to elicit future hard work.
Instead of congratulating your child solely based on their results, offer encouragement that signals you are most appreciative of their honest, hard work — win or lose. Winning isn’t the only goal and losing isn’t all that matters (although it’s also valuable for children to learn how to do both gracefully). This mindset, sparked at an early age, will help to engender a strong work ethic in your child and can set them up for success throughout life.