My parents prepared me for the world of work, and there were many benefits I derived. All parents can do this to help their children in adult development. Following are some tips:
Start at an early age. A 3-year-old can pick up toys and dirty clothes. A 6-year-old can set the table or take out the trash. Degrees of difficulty in the task to be performed can be increased as the child matures. Positive comments about the work accomplished increase the child's self-esteem.Be sure children understand their duties. Confidence follows when understanding is firm. A parent needs to demonstrate for a child what needs to be done. Cooking, ironing, gardening, repairing, building, etc., can be quality time if the parent and child work together. Appreciation must be shown upon the completion of any task, no matter how small. Children need to understand that the family requires each person to pull his or her own share of the load.
Parents may want to pay children for extra work. If an unexpected job arises, family members can discuss the cost of hiring someone to do it or pitching in and doing it themselves.
Parents may want to encourage their children to seek part-time employment outside the home as age and time permits. Obviously, priorities have to be carefully considered. A job outside the home should not interfere with learning, family time and healthy social development. Baby-sitting, yard work and running errands are good beginnings.
Don't overdo it. High school students, in particular, tend to be overly enthusiastic about earning money to pay for an automobile, buy new clothes and spend more than a reasonable amount on entertainment. Consequently, too many working hours can lower grades at school.
At each stage of development, the dignity of work, as well as its rewards, should be discussed. Vocational co-op programs in high school and work-study programs in college reiterate these goals. Shadowing or interning with local business people is an excellent introduction to careers and pro-fes-sions.
The other part of the introduction to the world of work is the use of money. Parents should begin the process at an early age. A piggy bank and savings account can lead to a checking account, and later to an investment club to learn the basics of finance, stocks and bonds. Work that will use a child's talents and provide the necessities and pleasures of life is a goal all parents should strive for.