Monday, January 28, 2013

Learning the Value of Hard Work

When I was 11 or 12 years old, my family scraped together enough money to buy an above-ground pool. Back then only a few families in our neighborhood had pools, and if you weren't friends with them, you were out of luck. The pool in the town park and the one at the high school were always crowded and gross. So getting your own backyard pool was a huge deal.

So, when you install a pool, you first have to level the ground in the spot you plan to put it, then put down a waterproof barrier, put down a layer of sand, and then start building the actual pool. I vividly remember the morning the dump truck came, backing itself up to the designated spot, and dumped a mountain of fine-grit sand on the edge of the under-liner.

The reason I'm bringing up this childhood memory is to talk about what happened for the next six or seven hours. That mountain of sand had to be leveled before our parents could start putting the pool together, so my sisters (ages 9 and 6 at the time) and I came to the conclusion that if we could get that sand in place by the time Dad got home from work, he could start putting the pool up, and we'd be that much closer to swimming!

So we gathered up shovels and buckets and rakes and got to work. Of course we took play- and Kool-Aid breaks throughout the day, but my sisters and I actually spent that entire day hauling buckets, raking, and demolishing that sand mountain. And this was by choice.

So, what's my point? I can't see my own boys (or most kids in general) planning and persevering if they were in a similar situation. Sure, they might start the project, but I can imagine Bug giving up after 30 minutes to go play video games and Pie throwing a fit because it's too hard. This really upsets me. I had the privilege of growing up with parents who were (and still are) hard workers who instilled a strong work ethic in their daughters.

The scary part is that I still have my strong work ethic (a trait that I am very lucky to have), but I'm not sure how to pass it on. I will probably ask my parents for advice, but, like me, I'm thinking they will say something like, "I don't know how we learned the value of hard work and perseverance...we just did!"

Enter the good ol' Internet. Here are a few resources I found.
These articles gave me some good ideas. Firstly, I'm going to insist that Bug and Pie be responsible for collecting all the cups they drink out of during the day and bringing them to the sink to be washed (possibly by them...I haven't decided yet). Secondly, I am literally going to teach my little guys to scrub toilets. I mean, they're the ones who dirty them up the most, so it's just common sense that they should be responsible for cleaning them up, right?

Now let's all get to work!

No comments:

Post a Comment