Building a Good Work Ethic in your Children - By Chris Cushman

Jennifer Hester |

Building a work ethic is essential for every child. We all need to realize that life is hard work. Much of this work is unpaid and will always be unpaid (Example: I don’t earn commissions for making my bed and folding my clothes!) Children need to learn at an early age that they can benefit from other work that isn’t required. This can come from building something great and being proud of your construction (forts, ditches, desserts, etc.) This satisfaction can come from working hard to help and benefit others. This satisfaction can also come from making money to spend. It’s good to promote all these reasons as valid and important in context. Some suggestions for paid work can include:

1. Selling something they make - Lemonade stand (classic!), crafts, foods, wooden items made in a shop; the key lesson is that you only get paid when you provide something others value!
2. Helping people – babysitting, cleaning, yardwork, washing cars, moving items, any chore that isn’t dangerous; the key lesson is that you don’t get paid by the hour, you get paid by the value you bring to the hour!
3. Renting out items – loaning money, renting out items, if they construct a really large item then you can talk about how much they might make to sell it vs rent it out (these lessons might be better for kids once they reach junior high or high school age.) This lesson works best when it’s something they own vs just renting out dad’s stuff! the key lesson is that your hard work can pay off now or pay off over time!

The ultimate lesson is teaching a child how they can receive value by providing actual value to someone else. Call us if you want more ideas!