In today’s society, there’s a four letter word that no one wants to talk about. It’s a word that puts to shame many individuals. So much shame that they avoid the word completely in their every day life. What is this word that could bring so much controversy and disdain? Work. I know that I may be stepping on a few toes here and that’s fine, when you operate your blog you can write about what you want to write about…but that may require work so I don’t know how that’s going to pan out for you. Anyway, in today’s world just showing up on time for your job makes you a highly marketable asset to the work place. If you have a job, it’s a miracle that you utilize your 40 hour work week to do what the boss asks you to do in that time frame without clocking out early.
I, like many of you who read this blog and follow leaders like Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, and the like, know what the true meaning of work is. I honestly don’t think that you or I would have as great of an appreciation for something if it were handed to us. Now, I didn’t learn this from a get rich quick scheme or a book on entitlement. I got this message growing up in a household that required you to work. I started “working” at a very young age. I remember it just like it was yesterday. My mom had been working at an optometrist office for a while and I had to go to work with her sometimes. The doctor’s wife took this as an advantage for “free” labor. I am only kidding partially because she paid me under the table here and there. But here’s the thing that it taught me, work starts when you make it happen.
Sara and I have been teaching our kids over the last few weeks about the value of working to earn money. We purchased Financial Peace Junior (supposed to be one per child but on our budget…we made it work for all three) and started showing them what to do. A few people have made the assumption that we are hard on our children because we started so young on making them work (doing chores around the house.) We had a situation arise that Dave Ramsey would have used as a life lesson. Maleah has always been a hard worker but for some reason or another she decided that she didn’t want to help. When it came to “pay day” for them, Joanna had more than her. She was upset and started to throw a fit about it. This became a teaching moment. I kindly reminded her that if she wanted to make the money, she had to work. We don’t give allowances. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
Now, before you send me your hate mail, know that our girls get a dime for each chore they do and they have 10 throughout the whole week. Don’t have a cow. But it is important that we teach our children early on that work is not a curse word. As Dave would say, “it’s the number one get rich scheme.”
Dave and Rachel tackle this topic in the new book Smart Money, Smart Kids. Many folks will see this being abuse because they think you tie them up in a camp and make them work for their food. That’s not the case at all. One of things that Rachel mentioned was that when you have a child under 5, you tend to do all the work except for a few toys and you make a huge deal out of it. Your child will see the reward and do it again. Our kids, for the vast majority, keep their toy room clean and make their beds. They also help Sara put laundry in the washing machine and put their laundry away (within reason.)
In short, your kids won’t die if they learn to work. Contrary to the societal push to “pass-the-buck” or live a life of “mediocrity”, your kids will survive and thrive if they work. It’s a four letter word that you cannot afford to not talk about.
What are you doing to show your kids how to work?