Friday, March 7, 2014

Empowerment Experience Month Three

Value of Hard Work

I overheard a groups of my son's friends talking about how in today's society they don't need to work very hard, but instead they need to think hard.

I thought this was a funny statement. As I thought about it, I realized how instantaneous everything is for them. I remember growing up and wanting to play with a friend. I had to call them on a land line and sometimes I actually got a busy signal and had to wait for someone to get off the phone. If I wanted to know information I had to take time to look it up in the encyclopedia or take a trip to the library to see what I could find and no, it was not on the computer...I had to search through library cards. Today all these things are at the touch of a finger. While it is fantastic living in the information generation, I want my boys to learn to work and enjoy the benefits of work.
Teaching kids that life is not all fun and games is a great
life lesson!
We wanted to give our boys an experience with work that differs from the daily household chores and expectations. This can sometimes be challenging when they are too young to hold a formal job. We did find that there are opportunities for them to work when we started to ask around. Few friends their age (7, 12, and 13) work. I thought this might be a sticky point for them. When they found out that they actually get paid to work it became much less of an issue (I didn't have to hear..."Mom, so-and-so doesn't have to work" to which my response is always, "I am not so-and-so's mother").

Back to job opportunities. We found summertime or fall held the best opportunity to find them each a job. We helped "employ" our 7 year old, well,.... because he is 7. The other two were able to pick up jobs at the local community recreation department as referees. My friend's children work at a scout camp while another friend's children get up early and do yard work for neighbors.

It was wonderful to see our kids have some responsibility and get the reward for the work they put in. They both loved being able to have their own spending money they had earned and we took the opportunity to talk with them about saving money, paying tithing (whenever we learn to be obedient to Heavenly Father we are always blessed significantly) and being responsible about what they choose to do with their money.

The reward for this experience was simply the paycheck they received. Nothing else was needed.

In today's society where youth feel entitled it becomes even more important for us to help our children know the reality that they will not get all they want. To teach that hard work is a character building trait that leads to financial security and a privilege we have will benefit them as well as our communities.