Written by Doctor G

12 Activities to Give Kids a Work Ethic

“Give your kids a good work ethic.”

That sounds like a pretty basic part of parenting, right? The opposite, raising a lazy kid, or someone who feels entitled, who won’t do a good day’s work, sounds like a parenting fail for sure. So if this is so fundamental, why is it so hard? What teaches a good work ethic?

Give kids work.

Homework isn’t enough. That is work they get rewarded for, with grades. Kids need to do household work, help a neighbor, play with a younger kid for a while – all things that have intrinsic reward but no money or prize attached.

Sneak in the ethic.

This is a little like the zucchini in the chocolate chip zucchini bread. Kids who do what has to get done, and engage in conversation about work – the good, the bad, the ugly AND the necessary – will find themselves understanding a good work ethic before you know it. And demonstrating one.

The amazing part? Since teaching this isn’t so basic – or so common these days – your kids will have a huge advantage over their peers in the job market.

boy with groceries

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2 thoughts on “12 Activities to Give Kids a Work Ethic”

  1. This is the hardest thing to teach kids, I think. The worst part? I feel that a kid’s poor work ethic reflects directly on the parents. So when my kids resist work, I feel terrible!

    1. But Andrea, there is nothing “natural” or inherent about a work ethic. Kids don’t get it by osmosis, so you could have a great work ethic and your kids still won’t unless you focus on it. A lot, if my kids are any indicator!

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