One of the top traits employers look for in potential staff is work ethic. But how do you teach it to a six-year-old who doesn’t want to put away her crayons or an eleven-year-old who won’t turn off the video games? Here are some ideas:
- Be aware of the messages you send your kids about your own job and chores. Try to keep it positive: talk about when you had to work hard for something, or about what attracted you to your profession. Show kids that work can be meaningful. It can help others, create new things and give a sense of pride and self-esteem.
- Share responsibility. Include your child in age-appropriate household chores. Can your child make her bed or lay out the dog food? Young kids want to be included and love feeling like they can help. When it comes to teens, allow for natural consequences. If your teen’s room is a mess, leave it. If her laundry isn’t done, let her deal with the outcome.
- Accept failure. Your child’s bed may not be made to your standards, or the dark laundry may get mixed up with the light. For the sake of your child’s confidence, don’t be a quick rescuer. Gymnastics is known for promoting confidence, because as children attempt a number of physical challenges, they wonder if they can do it and with practice, time and encouragement they discover they can.
- Patience pays. Okay, so work can be meaningful but we all know that sometimes it can be drudgery too. Listen to your kids when they complain about chores or homework, but help them focus on the end goal. Learning how to develop a skill, such as gymnastics, is hard work but with time a child sees how his work leads to success.
With gymnastics, kids develop balance, coordination, flexibility, physical strength and mental concentration. But they also learn key components of work ethic: goal-setting, personal development, discipline and how to grow from failure. Oakville Gymnastics Club offers fun programs for children aged 18 months and up. Registration is ongoing. Visit www.oakvillegym.com for more information.