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Hardworking Kids Come From Parents Who Do These 6 Things

Kids need balance as much as they need ambition

By | Lizzy Francis |

No parent wants a lazy kid. But getting kids to love and value hard work is incredibly difficult. The information economy has made this harder. Most kids don’t work the farm alongside their parents anymore. And this is all the more reason that parents need to consistently teach their kids be focused and self-starting. Unfortunately for parents, these conversations now tend to happen in the context of school and homework, which can be limiting. Life, after all, isn’t about turning in assignments. It’s about nailing them. It’s also about finding self-worth — and valuing yourself based on your ability to do the hard work. Kids who know that they can work hard to achieve goals and successes have a higher sense of self esteem and, unsurprisingly, a higher chance of finding success.

Still, it’s essential to strike a balance — especially in the context of a very competitive culture. “There are times to be hardworking and times to be lazy,” says Laura Dabney, M.D., a psychiatrist who has been working with children and adults for 20 years. The key, she says, is to make sure that kids love the process of — and take pride in — hard work. In fact, all lessons about being hardworking should be taught from this perspective. Here are the 6 things that parents who raise hardworking kids do.

They Complain About Work As Little As Possible

Although it might feel like the safest space to do so, home isn’t the place for parents to complain about work, Dabney says. Parents who want to raise hard working kids should know that even if the work day was frustrating or tedious, they need to model a sense that work can be enjoyable and fulfilling.

“You’re always modeling for your child,” Dabney says. “It doesn’t really matter what you’re saying to them. If you’re modeling something different, you’re causing a situation that’s very difficult for them to understand.”

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