Friday, June 14, 2013

Frugal Friday: The Principle of Work

As I was thinking about what to write about for Frugal Friday this week I thought about how so many of the principles of being frugal involve hard work. Really, so many true principles of life itself involve hard work. With all of the ease of modern life, it's tempting to slip into the pattern of not wanting to get your hands dirty or to put forth enough effort to break a sweat. Why is that? Just a few generations ago, hard work was a part of every single day. Day in and day out. And the consequences were threatening. If you don't work, you don't eat and your family goes hungry too. Farm children grew up learning how to help out on the farm. There was no need to consciously decide how to teach children how to work. They learned. It was a part of life. Nowadays, with all of the convenience around us, it's easy to feel entitled to not work and to slip into habits of ease and laziness. And our children exceed our examples in this.

So how do we reinstate the virtue of hard work in our homes? How do we get back to that? I'm going to share a few ideas with you, but really I think I'm mostly looking for answers here and would love to have a discussion if you're willing.

My youngest son learning how to mop the floor this week

I think the first thing we can do is to set an example of hard work for our children. Daddy (and in some homes Mommy) goes to "work" every day. But our children aren't a part of that and they don't see it or understand what "work" means. That's why I believe things like growing a garden, DIY projects, cooking at home, etc. is so important. All of those things not only save money, but also help our children see us working at home.

The second thing I thought of is to teach our children to work alongside us. I know a lot of families do chore charts and we do too. I think it's important to set expectations for children to do chores and give rewards when those chores are completed. But what has always worked the best for us is when we take the time to work alongside our children on their chores. Not only does it help them learn how to do the job right, but it also helps them to learn to enjoy working.

Now it's your turn. I would love to hear your ideas on this topic. How does a good work ethic help you be more frugal? How do you teach (or how have you taught) your children the value and rewards of hard work? Do you have a great chore system for kids that works for your family? I'd love to hear about it. Anything else you'd like to share on this topic would be great. I'm looking for ideas! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

This week I'll be linking to some of these link parties.


Gwen Hurst said...

Our family does what I call Summer Seminars. Each of our 4 children have to learn practical living skills each summer. Some examples are...canning and gardening with mom, changing a tire or checking the car's oil with dad, laundry or sweeping and mopping with Nana. They have learned cooking and how to balance a checkbook also. It works great for kids of varying ages!

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

I love that idea Gwen. Teaches them to work as well as practical skills they will need when they are adults.

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

Good topic! I've always had a work ethic, though it was never something my parents talked about. I grew up in the 70's and 80's and was never handed much. I wasn't pushed to work summer jobs, though I was encouraged to find something to do during my summers.

I love the idea of doing a summer seminar - teaching kids practical skills.

Thank you for linking up to Fabulously Frugal Thursday! You really got me thinking today.

Alexis Tanner said...

I love this post! I definitely think people need to teach their kids to work more. I can't believe how lazy kids are getting! I definitely agree with your ideas. My oldest is only 2 so we're still working on putting toys away, but I definitely want my kids to learn to work. Thanks for the post and linking up! I hope to see you link up again tonight!

Kasey Norton said...

Love this! We teach our little ones from the time they can toddle to begin to pick up after themselves. And we divide our home into zones where everybody has a space they are responsible for keeping in order. I think we save a good bit of money just by teaching them to care for their things (and those of others!) and by not being wasteful! Thanks so much for linking this up with me last week at Walking Redeemed!

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