Is Teaching Kids About Work Ethic Important?

By Kathleen Boucher

There is no single volume of child-rearing written that guides parents how to raise their children. Many times people resort to how they were taught. Parents garner what they liked about their upbringing and discard the things they disliked. What did your parents teach you about work ethic? Was it something that was discussed or was it modeled in your mother and father’s behavior? How do you define work ethic?

Here is an excerpt from the book Nine Ways to Empower Tweens with Emma and Elliot on page 59-60.

“Let’s define what work ethic means. Some definitions of work ethic are: getting to school or work on time; showing initiative; having an optimistic attitude with your fellow students, teachers, workers, and customers; always doing your best work; not being on your cellphone or texting constantly; and most of all, being trustworthy and having integrity and honesty.

A person with a strong work ethic is reliable and works hard, whereas someone with a poor work ethic tries to get by with the least amount of effort. If you want to stand out in a crowd, always do more than is expected of you. You may be saying to yourself: why should I work harder than anyone else? It is not necessarily that we are asking you to work harder physically-it may be as simple as helping to solve problems for fellow students or co-workers.”¹

Is teaching kids about work ethic important? A strong work ethic gives children a sense of pride and accomplishment. It raises their self-esteem and confidence in their ability to put their best foot forward. Word of mouth is very powerful. Their superiors are apt to tell future employers, schools and universities how reliable they are, and what a good job they do.

Discuss work ethics with your children. You may be surprised at their perspective.

NB. An updated version of the book Nine Ways to Empower Tweens with Emma and Elliot will be launched at the end of 2018. Look for it!



  1. Kathleen Boucher, Nine Ways to Empower Tweens with Emma and Elliot, © 2016 Kathleen Boucher, published by Balboa Press, Bloomington, IN, ISBN: 978-1-5043-5737-1 (sc)
  2. Thanks to joshua-clay-27368-unsplash for the photo


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