She works hard for her money

August 21, 2009

williamsburg day 3 189“Help your children connect ownership of material things and privileges with work.”  (page 261) is the title of chapter 28 of 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. In an area of entitlement this can be a tough sell.  But sell it we must, or risk raising children without work ethics and with expectations that others will always meet their needs.

“Working towards a goal and feeling pride in our efforts is what drives human action.  Children who learn the value of hard work and the satisfaction that comes with completing that work and and earning it’s reward, will have a deeper sense of self-worth and capability than children who are merely given the things they desire.”  ([page 262)

This is true at the both ends of the continuum.  Looking at those who have grown up having everything they want given to them, without working for it have low self esteem, and they cant raise it no matter how much of daddies money they spend.  Those who have spent their lives on government assistance likewise have low self-esteem, and it doesn’t change regardless of how much cash the government throws at them.

Conversely the wealthy who have “earned every penny” have healthy self images, as do those with very little in material wealth, but have worked hard for what they do have.

Additionally, “…school-aged children who do chores with their fathers get along better with their peers and have more friends.  They also found they are less likely to disobey teachers, cause trouble at school and are happier and more outgoing.”  (page 263)

The better we are at helping kids see the work/reward relationship, the better all their relationships will be, now and for the rest of their lives.

Hagelin suggests three keys to teaching the value of earning and rewards.

  • You must be consistent and true to your word.  When you promise your child  something…you must follow through.
  • When possible, thematically link the task you give your child and the reward he or she seeks.
  • Finally, make the task straightforward and quantifiable, something with a clear beginning and a concrete conclusion.  (page 266-267)

30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family, 2009 Rebecca Hagelin, Regenery Press

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