Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Workers Wanted

I heard the other day that children do not know how to work. That they expect to get right to the top of large corporations without ever having to pay the dues required to get there. They won't work long hours and if they do work long hours they expect more than normal overtime pay. They have over valued themselves right out of the market place. Another result of the self esteem movement in public education. Hard work is not valued in public education. Instead the emphasis is placed on Group projects where typically one student does all the work and either everyone received a positive grade because that one student really did a fabulous job, or despite the fact that the one student did a great job no one else did so they all receive a bad grade. These same students are not internally motivated to do good work. They have no idea what it is to do a great job and be rewarded because they are rewarded like star students for doing mediocre work. At home these same students are the recipients of outlandish allowances for which they did nothing to earn or were paid to do things that should just be their responsibility as having the priviledge of living in the home.

I am happy to say the work ethic is alive and well at our house. My children have and do experience the stinging rebuke of having to do work over when it does meet the standard. They also experience the satisfaction that comes from really doing a great job. They do not get an allowance for all the chores that we require of them. They are expected as part of our family to participate in all the household responsibilities as needed. Cooking, cleaning up, putting away laundry, making their beds, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting. They are given the opportunity to earn money by doing projects outside of the normal realm of the household. Labor is cheap at our house. My son spent an hour digging out two small tree trunks and earned himself a dollar. I also pay them for chores that I do not want to do. For instance this summer they are being taught how to mow the lawn and will each earn $2.50 a week for mowing and trimming the fence line. In contrast one of the neighbor children gets $10.00 a week and does not have to do anything!

The amazing awesome thing is that my children enjoy working with us. The will spend hours this summer pulling weeds in the garden. I hardly ever have to ask them to help. :They are just right there participating with us. My son loves to work with his dad even if it is just carrying boards back and forth. They understand work can be its own reward.