One of the things we’d like to inculcate in our kids is the value of hard work and earning your keep. One way to do this, we thought, was to let them participate in the work that our people do at the farm. Our purpose is to show them how hard it is for other people to earn money to feed their families. RD’s older brothers were amused when, on the second day of harvesting, he told them, “You know, I like to do school work better.”
The kids worked for four (4) days, and during that time, learned that something as “mundane” as harvesting corn wasn’t as easy as they thought. They learned new insights on what it takes for some people to have to earn money for their daily sustenance. Many kids have it so easy these days, that the principles of hard work is lost in the din of many petty things that take our attention away from the things that really matter.
It is important for us, parents, to teach our children the value of working hard and earning money or position, independence and self-sufficiency, and the benefits that come from being diligent and focused on values that really count.
How can we do this? For young kids, it may be as simple as cleaning their room or doing some household chores. For older ones, it may be saving a certain amount of money in a week or month, or doing something that can benefit the community. It might be important to note, however, that we cannot just give them something to do on an average level. We must push them, challenge them to do more than they think they can. Help them set goals that they can strive for. This will set the stage for the time when they want something that might be impossible, but can be reached because they know how to push themselves farther than usual.
Above all, keep a positive attitude. Allow them to make mistakes, and encourage them to keep working amid frustrations and hurdles. Teach them to grow and recover from their failures… and never be “historical” about it! Teach them to learn from wrong decisions and move on.