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10 Ways to Stop Ruining Your Kids’ Work Ethic

Solutions. Below is a list of recommendations that have helped hundreds of my clients improve their work ethic skills:

1. Children benefit from before and after school visual schedule incorporating both activities that kids need to do and want to do

2. Incorporate into your child’s daily life the ‘first’ and ‘then’ concept to train delayed gratification and hard work. ‘First’ do what is needed and ‘then’ what is wanted:

  • ‘First’ homework, ‘then’ play; ‘first’ tidy up toys, ‘then’ go outside; ‘first’ carry your skates, then ‘skating’; ‘first’ peel a banana, ‘then’ eat it; ‘first’ earn, ‘then’ spend

3. Avoid using technology as a free babysitting service and provide opportunities for boredom:

  • Screen time is not recommended for children under 2 years old. For children 2 to 5 years old, screen time should be limited to 1 hour a day (see guidelines)
  • Avoid using gadgets to alleviate boredom during car rides, meals, and while waiting for something
  • Have an unstructured time in your child’s schedule and teach him/her to occupy the time by making a technology-free activity list for “I am bored” time.

4. Involve kids from early on in self-care skills and daily chores to teach responsibility and doing what’s needed:

  • Life skills such as self-feeding, self-dressing, brushing teeth
  • Chores such as making a bed, setting a dinner table, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, watering plants, loading/unloading dishwasher, feeding a pet, sorting/folding laundry, and even washing cars.

5. Teach kids traditional activities that require putting a continuous effort to achieve results:

  • Ex. woodworking, gardening, fishing, sewing, working with clay, ceramic painting, making a mosaic, coloring by number/color, building blanket forts, making handmade greeting cards, and scrapbooking.

6. Don’t remove obstacles in their daily life. Use the obstacles to promote problem- solving:

  • Encourage kids to choose their clothes in the morning, push them to make decisions in the restaurants, when shopping for clothes and groceries
  • If a ball rolled under a couch, milk got spilled or zipper got stuck, don’t rush to help, encourage your child to find a solution

7. Let them fail and use their failure as an opportunity for learning:

  • Ex. don’t bring forgotten lunch or agenda to school,  don’t re-buy a lost toy

8. Increase physical endurance as it is closely related to mental stamina:

  • Minimize the use of strollers, incorporate hiking, swimming, biking.

9. Have family discussions related to work ethic:

  • Explain that boredom is a normal human state, our life consists of activities that we want to do, as well as those that we need to do; Life offers challenges, and our goal is learning to overcome these challenges rather than running away from them.

10. Make the teaching process a positive and connected one:

  • You can’t expect a child to do what you haven’t taught him yet
  • Start at your child’s level of abilities and gradually increase your expectations
  • Positivity is the key. If the teaching process is positive, children will be motivated to continue practicing the skills and will perceive parents as partners in the learning process.

The best way for teaching children is being their role model. Parenting is the toughest job ever created and it requires a high level of work ethic from ourselves. By consciously investing our time and energy into our parenting job, by not looking for “shortcuts” in parenting, we are modeling to our children the true meaning of work ethic. Our work ethic of today is their work ethic of tomorrow. Investing in our kids’ work ethic is the safest investment with the highest long-term returns.  Let’s unwrap the bubble wrap and set them for success!

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**This story was written by Victoria Prooday, a registered Occupational Therapist, Psychotherapist, founder and clinical director of a multidisciplinary clinic for children and parents. It originally appeared on her website

Be sure to SHARE her amazing parenting advice with the parents you know on Facebook!

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

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It's been 8 years since Rory Feek lost his wife, best friend, and music partner Joey Feek to terminal cancer. Now he's tying the knot again, this time, with daughter Indiana by his side.