My child’s happiness is probably one of the biggest priorities in my life. However, as many of us know, life isn’t full of happiness and often involves many hardships. Shielding them from these painful realities often brings more trouble to their life which is why it’s crucial that I teach them how to work hard and flourish in life.
So in this post, I’m going to offer five actionable tips that I implement in my parenting to help them learn how to work hard and build up good habits that will serve them well for the rest of their life.
1. Teach Children About Failure
One of the most important things I try to teach my children from an early age is how to fail and learn from it. Failure is a common thing that everyone experiences in life. From the most reputable entrepreneurs to overnight celebrities, everyone has come face to face with failure in the past. It’s daunting, it’s frustrating and it can be incredibly hard to cope with, but learning to face failure is something that even grown adults struggle with from time to time. Teaching children about failure will help them strengthen their resolve and harden their nature. They’ll be less prone to giving up in the face of adversity and they’ll fight tooth and nail to achieve their goals.
One of the most effective ways I have found to educate my children about failing is to just let it happen. If I notice that my child has made a mistake in their homework or lost at a sport or video game, then I let them ponder for a while about why they failed. Encourage them to dive into their failures instead of hiding behind them and help them explore what they did. Steer them in the right direction by helping them understand and cope with their failures instead of stepping in and making up for their failures.
2. Give Children Work Experience From an Early Age
I’ve never felt like I needed to require my child to get a job in their early years unless they didn;t have other things going on that was challenging them to work. If they weren’t playing music or playing a sport, and they had free time, that is when I felt like they should start looking for a job. Boredom is where children really start finding trouble. It’s important to teach them the value of hard work from an early age to build their work ethic. If they wait till their late teens before they work a single day, then they might have a warped perception of where money comes from, what it means to work hard and have no concept of what it means to have an admirable work ethic.
I have admired some grit that it takes for people to work in the fast food industry. I encourage them to get a job at a place that helps them learn what it is like to work in the real world. Find out what the minimum age to work at chick fil a or a place like in-n-out or any other fast food place that expects superior customer service.
Introduce small tasks to children that can help them grow more accustomed to the idea of working.
For example, if they ask me to buy a video game or toy, then I’ll make sure they work for it and treat it to them as a reward. Ask them to do simple chores such as watering the plants or cleaning their room, then give them some tokens to save up and “spend” on a reward like a new toy. This will teach them the value of saving up your money and also working hard to earn the things you want to own.
3. Encourage Children to Be Independent
Being independent will help teach children how to function on their own. Whether it’s learning how to cook a meal by themselves or study without the help of a teacher, independence can help a child build character and flourish as an individual that doesn’t need to depend on others. This can help them build a strong work ethic that pushes them to be strong in the face of adversity and figure out their own solutions to specific problems, rather than banking on the help of others to get them through tough situations.
I’m always striving to teach my children how to be more independent by starting slowly and encouraging them to study on their own. I give them advice on how to research things they don’t know and how to come to a conclusion instead of just giving them the answer. For everyday matters that I might normally take care of, I start teaching them how to get accomplishing things without my help. For instance, I might have them help me prepare and cook meals or teach them how a washing machine works so they can work it on their own in the future.
4. Explain What It Means to Progress
Everyone has to work their way up from zero, but with no measurable or visible level of progress to rely on, it’s easy to feel lost and hopeless as a child drifts through life. Teaching my children about the concept of progression and taking small steps to build up their successes can be a turning point that changes how they perceive life.
I like to teach my children about progression by recording the things they do. For instance, I save all of the pictures they draw, the workbooks they write in and also the crafts they make. Once they’ve made a considerable amount of progress, I’ll show them their past work and compare it to their present one. I show them that, even if they don’t feel like it’s happening, they’re improving every time they work on their craft and are developing their skills. Sometimes, all it takes is a visual representation of your progress to truly motivate a child.
5. Show Them the Power of Hard Work
Lastly, show them just how important it is to work hard in life. All of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs reached their positions not through sheer luck, but persistent hard work and overcoming countless failures. There’s no shortage of challenges in life and it can often feel hopeless to put so much effort into something, only to fail.
This is why it’s important to show them the light at the end of the tunnel. This is why it’s vital that you give them examples of people that have worked tirelessly to reach where they are in life. Give them examples such as entrepreneurs, famous artists and elite athletes. Inspire them to put in extra work and to persist in order to reach the goals that they’re dreaming of.
I am striving to do this with my children and I’m seeing great results!