wind in sails

As May begins to make us crazy like December so often does, here’s a little inspiration from the headlines to remind us that we have plenty of able (not saying eager) bodies around to pitch in. Plus it will be good for them. And might offer incentive for all of us to get them working this summer… which is right around the corner. YAY!!!

Thanks to MOAT moms Lisa and to EEE:Equip:End Enabling FB page (a very cool resource started by a group of parents walking the road together – check it out and join) for sharing.

First Amy Langfield shares from TODAY that “Teens (are) More Materialistic, Less Likely To Work Hard”

Today’s teenagers are more materialistic and less interested in working hard than the baby boomers were in their teens, according to a new study. But sorry, boomers, the researchers say it’s probably your fault for creating a culture that breeds narcissism and entitlement.

“You’re taught what’s important and how to act by your parents, the media and those around you,” said Jean Twenge, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. “It’s the cultural changes that are really bringing these changes.”

Ok, so work is work… none of us jump up and happy dance at the prospect. But the trend is worth noting. Not to make us feel bad, but to remind us that kids still look to their parents for direction. Even though it might be buried under multiple layers of eye rolls and audible sighs.

In the “don’t want to work hard” category, high schoolers in the mid-1970s agreed 25 percent of the time; in the late-80s that climbed to 30 percent; and by the mid-2000s it was up to 39 percent.

While the teens are now more likely than boomers to want a vacation home, there is a “growing disconnect between their willingness to do the work to pay for these things,” said Twenge, who is also the author of “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before.”

How nice that we have so many opportunities to for kids to practice work while they’re in our home. It’s not rocket science. From TODAY again, enter teens & chores. It’s not rocket science.

You’re hungry? EMPTY THE DISHWASHER. If it’s lunch or dinner time and my kid wants to eat, and there’s a dishwasher that just finished its cycle, rather than watch TV or aggravate a sibling while a meal is being prepared, empty it! Things will get broken and misplaced and your cutlery drawer will look like a bomb went off in it, but they helped.

Want to watch TV? FOLD SOME LAUNDRY. Multitasking is a valuable skill. Kids love to watch TV but there’s no reason why, while their eyes and ears are on the TV, their hands can’t be untangling, folding and piling some of the clothes you provided and cleaned for them. And while at first their basket of folded clothes may bear a striking resemblance to a basket of unfolded clothes, they’ll improve with practice.

… Maybe they help prepare meals or set the table. They are involved in all the household chores throughout the day. And in return they get to continue living there and being provided for. Furthermore it helps them better understand the idea of working hard and contributing to the larger goals of a group.

However one goes about it, a healthy work ethic is one of the most important things we might instill in our children. It’s one of the cornerstones of preparing them to take care of themselves and, not for nothing, you.

So funny & true. But we know this has very little to do with us. So much more to do with loving our kids. Loving them enough to steer them away from society’s magnetic pull to self absorption and toward serving others … the secret sauce of life.

Anyway, I can always use a little wind in my sails. Hope it put some in yours.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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