The Richmond Register

January 12, 2014

Work ethic begins with what is taught at home

By Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — A new child has just entered the lives of two new parents, but as the months and years begin to pass by, the new parents are not fully aware of how the items they are providing to their child will have a lasting impact on what the child will value as important in their own future.

The parents also do not realize that the behaviors they model as their child grows up, will also help form the child’s perspective on the importance of work and developing relationships between people.

While the child was young, the parents wanted the child to have access to things they didn’t have as a child, so they began to buy high-demand popular toys and dress the child in name-brand clothing items. The child is learning to value “wants” rather than “needs.”

As the child grew, the parents never established routine chores for the child to perform on a daily basis. The parents also never demanded that chores and work should be the way the child earns money.

When the parents asked the child to take on a few chores, the child began to whine and argue about having to perform the chores. The child didn’t want to do the chore and the parents were overburdened with their own work, so they decided not to fight with the child over their chores.

The power struggle between a parent and a child has been established. The child begins to learn a lack of respect for authority, as well as a lack of respect for money and how to earn it.

Throughout the child’s life, her or she participated in activities, enrolled in sports, paid to attend entertainment events and yet never had to earn the money spent.

When the child became a teenager, a car to drive was provided as well as insurance and gas money. But working to earn that money was never required.

How are parents training children to enter the workforce? How does this scenario affect the workplace as an adult?

When work ethic has not been taught at home, the young adult will enter the workforce with expectations that money is not tied to performing a specific task.

The young adult’s expectation is that if they show up for work, they are entitled to a paycheck. But employers are not charities. They hire individuals to perform a task for a set wage.

Employers also are not financial counselors. It is not an employer’s responsibility to teach their employees how to manage their paychecks.

Too many employees have a “buy now, pay later” mentality that gets them into debt.

When children are not taught that money is limited to what they are able to earn on their own, they grow up to become adults who struggle with debt and encounter problems at work caused by their poor financial decisions.

The value of hard work and the ability to earn and manage money is the foundation for becoming productive and self-sufficient as adults.