[Ep. 010] – Giving your Kids a Work Ethic

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Show Notes –

In this week’s episode of My Purposeful Planning, Laney shares about Giving our Kids a Work Ethic. We talk about the importance of chores for kids, as well as some methods we can use and helpful tips for teaching chores to our children.

In This Episode:

  • In a world where entitlement and laziness are becoming more and more prevalent… it is up to us as parents to set the foundations for our kids and set them up for success. It will be up to them and God after they launch. But until then… we have to do our part.
  • For this episode I went to social media and asked for help on this one. I don’t ever want to pretend that I know everything about a particular topic. I usually just share what I do know and how the topic applies to my life. But for this one – I felt if I only shared my perspective on this… that I would be excluding a whole group of parents and that is those that have kids older than mine.
  • Teach them. (The what, the why, and the how)
  • Podcast: Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast
  • Craig Groeschel – “Lead with the why”
  • When we are introducing a new chore to our kids or any kind of “change” and we don’t tell them WHY it’s important, they are not going to jump on board with you.
  • Craig Groeschel – “People will work for a “what”, but they will give their lives for a “why”. The why is important.”
  • “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother” which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3
  • Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord” Colossians 3:20
  • Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
  • Do all things without complaining or disputing, Philippians 2:14
  • “You obey, right away, all the way, with a good attitude, everyday.” (It’s easier to give grace to my children with this one when I think about my own obedience to God.)
  • “Business before pleasure” – which means that we do our chores and our work before we play.
  • Dianne Goulet says it this way, “The sooner you finish your have-to’s, the sooner you can do your want-to’s” She said she wanted to teach her kids delayed gratification to some extent but also that our “want-to’s” are MUCH more enjoyable without the have to’s hanging over our heads.”
  • “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”  (My kids have never missed a meal due to the fact that they simply didn’t wantt to do their chores. They really want to eat, so then they put aside whatever their issue is and do the work that’s being asked of them.)
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” This applies to grown ups as well. If we don’t work and earn a paycheck, we can’t buy food to feed our family. Its basically a principle that we’re instilling from an early age.
  • Notes from the Parenting Seminar
  • Blog Post: Family I.D.
  • Ask these questions in order to decide and write your values. “What values do I admire most?” “What makes me mad, frustrated, etc.?” “What value was violated when that happens?”
  • Teach them HOW: Tell them. Show them. Do it with them. Supervised Practice. Independent Practice.
  • Write the steps on a card, and tape it near the job site.
  • Our attitude towards work is important. Work is serving God, and little ones learn this with their first chores.
  • Model it.
  • This is helping to demonstrate your why to them.
  • One way that I do this is with our chore board. We have a chalkboard in the kitchen, and I will look around a write down everything I see that needs to be done – the things that feel urgent to me.
  • Training is hard work.
  • Never gripe about what you allow. Never complain about what you tolerate. – Craig Groeschel
  • So I said in my last episode about attitude that I can ignore sin in my children because discipline is hard work. It really really is, but it is SO necessary.
  • It takes TIME.
  • I share our old philosophy of parenting and the regrets we have from that.
  • You teach values. When those values are violated, there are consequences… sometimes natural consequences but sometimes consequences like time outs, loss of privileges, loss of tangibles, reparations, or spanking. Then there is affirmation and mentoring – You affirm them because of their identity and then affirm behavior “I love you because you’re my child.” Then mentoring where you can discuss with your children about the values that were violated and talk about ways they can learn to live out those values in a better way next time.
  • Punishment vs. Discipline
  • “Punishment decreases unwanted behavior. Discipline shapes character.” -Dr. Andy Yarbourough
  • Training is hard work, but it is so worth it.
  • I want to be the parent that says to other parents “It DOES get better”. And let me tell you – it does….if you do the hard work of training them well. It doesn’t just magically happen. You have to do the work. And not just consistency in dishing out punishments either….. that doesn’t work. You have to discipline them, teach them, and train them. And it DOES get better.
  • My children are still young, but I am already seeing fruit from them. They are not perfect, but they are growing and maturing, and I can already see that.
  • You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.
  • I have always heard this quote in relation to chore lists and schoolwork because I’m a homeschooling mama. This was one of my points for this episode to talk about that, but it was also mentioned in that parenting seminar… in relation to checking up on your kids and their phones, social media, their belonging ,etc.
  • Whatever you’re expecting from your children, you have to inspect it as well.
  • So if you’re expecting that they do something, you have to also inspect it. If you’re expecting that they have good character and exemplify kindness, you have to inspect their phones and social media, etc.
  • A Method for the Madness
  • This is the part where you have to have a system for working your plan. Your system can be as simple as writing a list of chores for them to complete after school each day. Your system could be a checklist that you print off every week or month that they complete. Remember though – you can’t just see that they checked the boxes – you actually have to inspect that they did the actual task listed. Your system can be a chart with velcro tasks and pictures. It can be a chart that has a clothespin with their name on it as they move down the list.
  • Whatever method you choose to use… Teach them what is required, Teach them WHY which can be attached to your family’s values, and Teach them the steps for HOW to do it. Model good attitude and initiative for working hard and doing the “have-tos” before the “want-tos”. Inspect what you expect. Take the time to train them. Implement consequences and positive discipline when values are violated. Affirm them in their identity and behaviors. Mentor them.
  • (The next few points come from the social media post where I asked other mamas to chime in.)
  • Chrissy Hoskin says, “Instill the mindset of “Leave it better than you found it.” If you choose to rush through it and not do it well, you get to do it again… for several days for extra practice…Teaching them to be part of the team…Teaching them excellence over being mediocre…Teaching them to be helpful and not lazy…Teaching them how to take care of a home to prepare them for caring for their own future homes. There are lots of life skills being built just by giving your kids chores.
  • Dianne Goulet says, “I tried to keep a very positive attitude and focus surrounding chores from an early age. We might sing as we worked, listen to our favorite music, or set the timer to see how much we could get done before it went off. We might treat ourselves with a favorite activity when we were done. Sometimes we’d just talk and laugh as we worked. I wanted to convey that although they were necessary tasks we may not enjoy in and of themselves, we can choose to do them with a good attitude and that makes time pass more quickly as well as making the the tasks more enjoyable. Teamwork makes un-preferred tasks more enjoyable.”
  • Rebecca Ritchey says, “I remind them that they are working first unto the Lord. We expect things to be done in order and in excellence. We teach them to do their best by reminding them that it is a core value of our family to do our best and be our best. We remind them that we are all apart of a whole. Apart of the team. We all pull our part.”
  • Rebecca also mentions when she checks up on them – she looks to see if it’s because of disobedience and an attitude or if it’s from just being busy and it getting forgotten. I like how she thinks about the why and the reason it’s not done first. Then she says something about giving the one grace rule. Then she ties their identity to it by saying “The Ritchey’s aren’t lazy”. So good!
  • Britney O’Neal says she sat her kids down and asked them what chore they would like to learn that they thought would be a big help to mommy. It empowered them to have some input on the whole idea, and she said it has resulted in her laundry loads being cut in half.
  • Most everyone who commented mentioned teamwork and working together – not just one person doing all the things.
  • And they all mentioned starting from a very early age doing simple tasks like picking up toys before nap and bedtime, putting laundry in the hamper basket, shaking out and smoothing socks and washcloths, then to fold washcloths and match socks.
  • By the time they are older, most of them said they are responsible for keeping their own spaces neat, cleaning up after themselves in common areas, helping to clean the bathroom they use, helping to clean common areas, and helping with dishes, vacuuming, mopping, and folding laundry.
  • As far as standards go – they mentioned teaching the appropriate steps one step at a time as well as making sure the expectations are clear. It’s tailored to each child’s age and individual ability. Some grace is given for how clothes are folded, and some kids are perfectionists that will surprise you when they fold even better than we do as parents. A child who is capable of doing a job well gets to do it again until its done to satisfaction or practice it over the next few days.”

Additional Links and Resources Mentioned:


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Email: laney@mypurposefulplanning.com

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