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In many of the younger people I see these days (and I can refer to many as “younger people” since according to my kids I am now ancient in my early forties) is a lack of pride in their work. This is often manifested in a sorry work ethic, work that is poorly done on a regular basis, not taking proper care of their things, an attitude of entitlement, and so many more things that are not all that pretty.
I wish that I could say that my kids always get this right, but they don’t. My kids struggle with a lack of pride in their work at times, too, and I find this is one of those areas that we as parents need to hold our kids’ feet to the fire. When we are doing that, we are remaining vigilant with our kids in this area. I find that if kids start slacking in any of these things like poor work ethic, sub-par work, and more, it doesn’t take long at all for these undesirable qualities to quickly go downhill, gaining momentum all the way down.
Holding your kids’ feet to the fire when it comes to how they carry themselves, how they treat their things, the effort they put forth, and the way they care for their things and others takes some proactive and intentional actions by their parents, which means you and I.
With that in mind, here eight are ways you can encourage your kids to take pride in their work.
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Be an example
If you want your kids to take pride in their work, then you need to take pride in your work. This can be quite demanding at times because we as adults are generally so much busier than our kids, but it is amazing how if I let my work ethic slide, my kids do, too. In order for our kids to take great pride in their work, we must consistently do the same.
Kids have to know what we expect in order to be able to do the work we expect. Think about it, when have you had a job in the workforce where you haven’t had at least a little bit of training first? I’m guessing not ever. We all, adults included, need to be trained in what we are expected to do. For this reason, train your kids so they can meet your expectations while taking pride in their work.
Especially when they are taking on something new, remind your kids of what they are expected to do. Be sure you are doing this gently rather than in a way that makes them feel nagged at, but remind your kids of what they are to be doing, especially at first. Over time, this step can fade out.
Check their work
If you aren’t checking your kids’ work, how will you know how they are doing? And, if you don’t know how they are doing, they will tend to do work that is sub par. Kids, just as you do on the job, need to know how they are doing, especially at first.
Require them to take ownership
When they aren’t taking pride in their work, they need to own up to that. Do your kids like to argue with you at times? No worries, mine do, too. At times when I tell my kids that their work is not sufficient they like to argue. But in the end it is I (or their dad) who decides, and if their work isn’t as it should be we require them to take ownership of their work and then fix it.
Don’t give them everything
Giving your kids everything will almost always result in kids who have a poor work ethic, an attitude of entitlement, and be anything but grateful. There is nothing wrong with kids who have to help pay for the things they want and maybe even the things they need at times. This is relative to their age and financial situation, but kids who are able in any way should have to help pay or work for some of the things they have.
Praise is always a good thing. Praise them for any kind of effort at first, and then praise them as is appropriate as they should be getting more proficient in the work they are doing. We all benefit from a little praise. Don’t skimp out on the praise where your kids are concerned…especially when it is in regards to their work.
Retrain as necessary
Retraining is necessary in most cases. I know I need retraining often as well. We learn throughout our entire lives, don’t we? Gently yet firmly retraining is always a good thing as long as it is reasonable as well.
There are few things I like to see as much as I like to see kids who are willing to work hard…and who know what that means! Here are some great ways that you can teach your kids this important quality that will serve them well throughout their lifetime.
This post is reflection of the book we are reading as a book club community. This is the book we are reading.
Here is a bit more about our book club…
This book club is a way of encouraging others to carve out the time to read at a pace of just two chapters a week because I’ve learned that finding time to read never just happens on its own.
Generally, every Monday and Thursday there will be blog posts here with Monday’s Inspirational Reads somewhere in the title with my reaction to each of the two chapters for the week.