Building Your Teens Work Ethic That This High Demand World Requires

Lazy. Selfish. Entitled. Spoiled. You’ve probably heard these words applied to the rising generation, maybe accurately or inaccurately. One thing is certain, however, and it’s that you absolutely do not want those words to be applied to YOUR teen. You want your teen to be healthy, happy, hardworking, and well-adjusted in today’s fast paced, highly competitive world. You want them to succeed in whatever they choose to do, and to find value in their lives. In a world where everything is expected to be fast and easy, you can greatly improve your teen’s chances of success and happiness by building their work ethic. We’re here to show you how.

Building Your Teen’s Work Ethic

It’s completely normal to love your teen and want them to have a happy and easy life. You’re not alone if you look back and realize that you’ve required too little of them. It may be hard to shift gears and change direction to help them develop a greater work ethic, but it’s well worth the effort. Begin now.

  • Do less for them. The first way to begin developing their work ethic is to stop doing so much for them. Assess the list of things you do for them and begin delegating things back onto their responsibilities. Let them pack their own lunch. Have them find their own rides to friend’s houses. Allow them to make their own appointments for hair cuts or dental cleanings.
  • Teach basic skills. You may notice that many of the things you’re doing for your teen are things they will eventually need to learn to do themselves, so take some time to teach them now. Choose one task at a time and teach them to do it themselves. Laundry is a great task to teach and then expect your teen to do themselves. Have them do the grocery shopping or prepare a meal for the family.
  • Tackle a Difficult Project. Choose a task or project which you’ve been avoiding due to difficulty. It works especially well if you can choose one in which your teen will be invested – like a finished basement, theater room, outdoor fire pit, restoring an old car, or other rewarding project. Tackle this project with your teen, and be sure to talk through any roadblocks or challenges. It will teach your teen to be persistent and the satisfaction of completing something difficult.
  • Teach strategies. It’s not just about learning to work hard – it’s also how to work hard when you don’t want to. Teach your teen strategies like taking breaks, giving themselves rewards, setting goals, making lists or schedules, asking for help, and anything else that can help them keep going when they feel overwhelmed.
  • Don’t bail them out. Occasionally they will fail. They may forget their huge science project at home, forget to do their chores before a big night out with friends, or run out of money for something they really wanted to buy. It can be painful, but teaching them work ethic means letting them learn from failure so they make smarter and better decisions next time. Expect anger and frustration, but do it with love and be there to talk and listen.

One day your teen will be a full-fledged adult, expected to succeed and contribute to society. How will they do when they leave the nest? Building a strong work ethic can make or break them, but if you find they need more structure and correction than you can provide in order to learn the skills and work ethic they need – there is help out there. Find it now and let your teen learn to fly.

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