Equip Them To Earn

Through the years we’ve given our kids a base allowance, then awarded bonuses for work done well and cheerfully. We’ve also encouraged them to find other ways to earn money.  

These have included raising rats for pet stores, paper routes, and a wood splitting business. What all these ventures had in common was that they took an enormous amount of time and energy – mine and their dad’s!  

If your child wants to rake leaves, be ready to knock on doors with him. If she wants to walk dogs, help her place an ad in the paper. Be ready and willing to help your child start working, and you’ll be amazed at the life lessons she’ll learn.

Encourage Volunteering

Today volunteerism is trendy.  Many schools require community work from students each semester. For Christian kids volunteerism holds a special resonance, as it means following Jesus’ command to love and serve.

When your children are young, find ways to involve them in your own service projects. Let them help you deliver a meal to a new mom or houseclean for an elderly friend. Pick up trash on your street or on the beach, visit convalescent homes, or pull weeds for a next door neighbor.

Be a Role Model

So much of who our children turn out to be is a reflection not of what we try to pour into them but of what they see in us. It’s not the big occasions our kids will remember most, but the everyday stuff that revealed what their parents were really made of – how we handled frustration, whether we were on time and kept commitments, whether we did our own work with a smile or a frown.

Like all good things, building a strong work ethic in your child takes constant effort. But you’ll know it’s worth it when your child comes home from the first day of his first job looking tired and satisfied and grown-up and says something like Josh says to me: 

“My boss said I did a good job, Mom. Thanks for everything.” 

Barbara Curtis is an author and mother of 12 who blogs at MommyLife.net.

Publication date: August 21, 2012