As nurturing and supportive parents, you know that there are a few elementary, yet crucial principles you must endeavor to instill into your child’s behavior and mind-set. Growing up is difficult enough. Therefore, it’s important to inspire children at a young age to be responsible for themselves, caring for others, and of course, to discern the value of a hard day’s work, both mentally and physically.
What Hard Work Can Help Children Achieve
Teach a child that learning to work hard offers them these continuous life altering rewards:
- Helps to Build Confidence – Being confident is a trait that must be cultivated through creating goals and accomplishing them, and by learning through failure. Setting goals for children to accomplish can include:
- Academic goals, striving for an A on an exam
- Athletic goals – joining the swim team and beating their personal best time and creative goals
- Starting a new mind-expanding hobby like learning to play the guitar or chess
- Meeting or exceeding set goals builds inner confidence that lasts a lifetime.
- Establishes Self-Discipline – When children are young, it’s expected that parents will look out for them, choose their path, guide them toward the right decisions in their life, suggest which friends to keep and let go of, and determine which colleges offer classes that apply to their personal career choices. But, when children grow older and emancipate themselves to live on their own, their parents are no longer such a strong influence on their decisions. That’s why it’s important for children to learn the value of hard work through accomplishing chores, homework, community service and other tasks that are expected of them, as well as controlling the distracting temptations of screen time, and too much idle entertainment, to achieve work that is done purely on their own for a sense of accomplishment. With self-discipline, they will become responsible adults.
- Builds Habitual Financial Responsibility – Most parents are in favor of chores for their children. As the children age, the chores become more advanced, taking longer to complete, and involving learning how to operate tools like lawn mowers and hedge clippers, and appliances like the dishwasher and vacuum sweeper. As chores advance, confidence increases. As children are regularly paid, which can be done via cash or a Visa Gift Card, they begin to understand the value of their efforts. A Visa gift card makes for the perfect allowance incentive. Special pictures can be uploaded for the front of the card, and text such as “For a job well done” can also be included to achieve a deeper sense of reward, and be a lasting keepsake. Gift cards keep tract of spending and help with money management, too.
- Encourages Future Dreams – The world is a big place. There are destinations all over the globe that inspire creativity, love, mindfulness, and individuality. While you help your child see the benefits of hard work, introduce, and include both the idea of travel, and of developing their own unique sense of purpose. They will associate hard work with not only making money, but also achieving dreams and following passions.
- Increases Motivation to Succeed – Generally, the harder you work, the more you see results toward your end goal. When this happens, motivation to be productive increases, and productivity is one of the keys to wellness and contentment. If your child is not seeing the results they are striving for, consider breaking goals down to smaller ones, and talking about the true measure and meaning of success.
- Stimulates Curiosity – There are two types of people in the world – those that are curious about it, and those that are not. While it’s perfectly okay not to be curious, instilling curiosity in your child will lead to exploration, increased knowledge, a growing vocabulary, and tolerance among people. Hard work is the basis for this because with hard work comes financial options and a greater sense of personal fulfillment.
- Increases Future Opportunities – Because hard work not only benefits the individual but also society. Society recognizes hard work by presenting attractive options to those who are willing to put in the effort. Think: Earning a high school diploma, earning a college degree, earning a black belt, winning employee of the month. Hard work affords the opportunity to have the skills and knowledge to start a business, climb the corporate ladder and have the perseverance to turn a passion into a money-making venture.
- Helps Other People, too – When someone works hard and has a growing sense of self-fulfillment and purpose, the people around them, whether they are loved ones, coworkers, clients or friends, benefit, also. Deadlines are more easily met, which benefits the team, friends are regarded more highly, and clients are provided higher quality service.
The building blocks of hard work and the resulting character traits such as perseverance, motivation, curiosity, and self-discipline, all start when a child is young. Taking the steps now to instill a positive work ethic will encourage your child to build on their strengths and learn from their shortcomings.