Work Ethics: Teaching Our Children

After reading an article about a young person making rude comments about a new job they had not even started and was fired for it, got me to thinking about Work Ethics and teaching our children to have them. Not everyone shares the same work ethics just as we all don't share the same beliefs, so I'm not sharing a list of ethics to teach.

The Entitlement Era is here to stay, I’m afraid. It has been long coming down through the generations; parents wanting to be easier on little Sally or to lighten the load on little Johnny.  While it is only natural for a parent to want their child’s life to not be full of hardships, we need to back off and allow them some hard times. ~ It builds character!

Work Ethics: Teaching Our Children  l

Work Ethics: Teaching Our Children 

Young people mirror what is taught in the home. Little smart-alecky comments about Smelly Sam in the next cubicle or the “I should have his paycheck since I’m doing his job anyway” remarks where our children can hear them, not only teaches them it is alright to grumble but to be disrespectful of others.

I worked several unpleasant jobs in my lifetime. The ones I had during my college years, oh my! While those were minimum wage jobs, I never felt the need to boycott a day of work to prove I was better than what I was being paid. My goodness, it was a minimum wage job, why would I think the job was worth $15 an hour when it most definitely was not.

I had one particular job if I could do it all over, I would never have worked there.  I was over worked and under paid and not appreciated one bit and was warned, “Don’t even dare ask for a raise”. I’ll never forget the comment, “You better be here on Monday, I can’t afford to pay you sick leave,” while picking up my paycheck during my vacation week which I spent in bed extremely ill. This woman owned several childcare centers and could not keep any staff members longer than a year or two except for a couple of faithful older ladies who worked in the baby room.

During that year, I was reminded that my father spent years working for people like that woman. Never did I hear a negative word about the owners of the companies. My dad left work at the door when he came home in the evenings. If he had anything bad to say about someone he worked with or for, I don’t recall ever hearing it. I was reminded, this woman was my boss and I had to respect her for that.

I was also taught to stand up for myself and not be bullied by others, bosses included. The day I turned in my notice at this particular job, the woman came across as horrified! She started trying to explain she was in the process of moving me up to an older class since I was going to school to be a teacher (something I heard for six months); she became so flustered and angry at me that she told me to get out. I gladly got my things and left and never looked back. To this day, I never had to use her as a reference, nor have I acknowledged my time of employment there with anyone outside my family.

As a homemaker, I have jobs I do not care for. While cleaning the toilet is not the most glamorous job, I do it. I clean it for cleanliness, hygiene, and odor control. I have even begun to pass this job on to my son. While I know he is not going to clean the bathroom like I would, he knows it’s an unpleasant job that is required. When I check on his progress, I don’t always tell him he is doing a fantastic job, in fact, I point out areas where he has missed. I do this because life is not always a bowl of cherries.

Young people need to learn they are not too good to work a minimum wage job, whether it is flipping burgers, washing dishes, or just helping where they are needed. Be willing and eager to workMinimum wage and entry level jobs are not meant to become a lifelong career. They are a low rung on the ladder to become successful in life.

I asked my husband to read this post and give me his opinion (something that is done for every post). He did just that and summed it up in a few short words. If you want more out of life, you have to work for it. The harder you work, the more profitable you will become.  Don't like the minimum wage? BETTER YOURSELF! 

Young people are not going to learn work ethics from TV, social media or YouTube. They are going to learn how to work from you, the parent. It is up to you to do your job in raising a young person who will know how to work and want more out of life than being given everything.

1 comment

  1. Absolutely agree 100%! It's a hard lesson to learn and sometimes as parents we realize this a bit too late. Thanks for a great post, and reminder.


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