4 Moms: How to get kids to work hard with a good attitude

As I sat down to write this post, I called over my shoulder at the girls who were finishing up the dinner dishes.  “Hey, how do I get kids to work hard with a good attitude?”  I was half joking, half serious.  They often have some good insights into parenting topics.  Sometimes they remind me about methods and techniques that have become so routine over the years that I am blind to what I do and how I do it.

Laughter burst out from the other room.  “Mom, did you hear what I said right before you asked that question?  ‘I hate work, and I’m never going to be done!'”  We all had a good laugh over the irony, but it made me think.

In spite of their words, they do work hard with good attitudes most of the time, and I would say they are doing it right now.  They laugh and chat as they work, and the kitchen will shine when they are done.  I don’t view comments like these as a complaining or grumbling spirit; this was a statement that hard work is part of the curse, and we had better get used to it while we wear this mortal veil.

It is important to help our children keep the goal in sight: glorifying God.  When I see attitudes suffer, I remind them that I Corinthians 10:31 tells us to do all to the glory of God.  When we work poorly, slowly, or with a bad attitude, are we doing our best to bring glory to God?  Nope.

But it is easy to slip into a bad attitude, grumbling and complaining at the work before us.  Kids are not the only ones, and role models play a huge part here.  If I do my work cheerfully with the goal of pleasing God, it will be much easier to train my children to do so.

I try to deal with a bad attitude and slow, slovenly work just as I would with other disobedience, because grumbling while doing a poor job is NOT obedience.  The more consistently I address the problem, the less it rears its ugly head.

We can also help them develop a good attitude about work early on.  Little ones seem to love work; it is not until we get older that we decide we have better things to do.  The more we work (cheerfully) alongside our little ones, the more they learn to enjoy work.  Enjoying work while they are little does not guarantee that they will always have a good work ethic, but those early habits will make it easier for them to work hard as they grow.

How about you?  How do you help your children learn this important lesson?

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  1. Good points! I soooo need to work on that around here.

    Just one note that work was a part of unfallen Creation and was established before the curse. Thus, work is good, and it is not a result of the fall – it’s part of how life was supposed to be even in an ideal world.

    Love the blog!!!!!

  2. Aileen Johnston says:

    I love reading how you bring your children up an you have given me so many tips and ideas that I hope to use as Amy grows. One thing I love that you do is teaching from an early age how to behave. For example I dont like Amy pulling hair, pulling at peoples glasses and playing with the remote controls for the tv so I tell her No all the time. She is to young to understand at the moment but it means I am not changing the rules for her when she gets older. A lot of people say I am toostrict with her ut I honestly believe this will make the “terrible twos” easier to deal with as she knows the rules I expect her to live by. Thank you for sharing how you bring up your children and from the sounds of it they are all happy, cheerful and good workers. You seem to have raised some good uns! 🙂

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