Labor in the United States and around the world is becoming increasingly efficient. A movie theater 30 years ago employed one person for each movie being shown. Today one person oversees all movies, and that person is just watching the program for errors.
One problem with work today is that much of it is no longer physical. It's easy to forget how good physical work is good for us. There is the obvious benefit of strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system without even going to the gym. A lesser known benefit is the "cobweb clearing effect" that is gained by working with one's muscles rather than one's brain.
Did you know that children in families whose income is under $20,000 a year are less than half as likely to get summer jobs as teens whose families earn over $100,000 a year? Did you know that students who held jobs in high school find an easier time getting a job once they graduate from college than do those students who did not work during high school?
So how do we prepare our students for that working world? First, and I've written about this before, assign them chores. Our children need to learn that working is an important part of life, and there's no time like the present for that lesson. Second, make sure some of these chores involve physical labor. Get them active. It's amazing what kids can do when we just train them and encourage them. Let them bring in some age appropriate part of the groceries. Third, let them know how important work is to you by setting a good example. Speak positively about your own job as much as possible. Fourth, don't put upon them your expectations about what kind of job they will have. Just express your desire to see them have meaningful employment in their future.
These are such important formative years in the life of your child. They will be gone in a flash. Use each minute as a precious gift from God to build up your children in the way they should go.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal