How to Teach Your Children to Work

Busy Mom’s Survival Guide Podcast Episode 054.
During the previous two episodes I discussed work ethic with Eric Chester, author of the book Reviving Work Ethic.*  Those episodes sparked some good conversations, but it also resulted in several questions from parents asking how I actually taught my toddlers and young children to work.


During this episode, I talk about the principles that I follow when it comes to instilling a strong work ethic in my children.  I also spend some time talking to Jade about her thoughts on working hard.  As the youngest Jonas, I thought it would be interesting to hear what she had to say about the topic.

Are you happy with the work ethic that your children have?

Thanks for listening!  Please join me next week as I talk about multiple intelligences and how that affects our parenting.


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  • Laura

    Oh my word. PJ, thank you SO MUCH. This spoke right to my questions of “when” and “how much” and “how” – I had several “aha!” moments. Sharing this one with my husband also, and we can revisit how we’ve been trying to involve our older son, and start involving our younger more. (Almost five, and just turned two, respectively. The younger already loves pushing the buttons for the laundry, even if he doesn’t understand yet and has to be told each button in turn as we want it. But when the dryer starts spinning because he pushed a button, he is ALL THERE. We can build on that!)

    • goatmilkstuff

      Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me that! I’m so glad that you found it helpful. It’s so much easier when you start the children out young. Indigo and Jade just did a video today showing them doing their laundry. It will be out in a week or two. It’s something they can do all by themselves now. PJ

  • D.B

    My children all help around the house more than most children do, but I am not happy at all with their attitude towards it. They seem to think that they shouldn’t have to work since they are children because most of their friends do not. Due to this I have to nag them for things they have to do every single day. Simple things like, do your laundry, do your dishes turn into temper tantrums.

    I started teaching them when they were young. My daughters learned how to do laundry at 3 or 4. (They helped with it by getting the laundry soap for Mommy or put their underwear away.) Even though we started out good, as the kids got older they got more resistant to the idea completing their chores. Even though my eldest is 17, practically a woman, she is very resistant to completing all of her tasks. Most of our children are very good at doing their chores with prodding. I just hate prodding them.

    • goatmilkstuff

      Maybe it’s time to let them have the consequences of not doing the chores? What would happen if you didn’t prod your 17 year old to do her laundry? Can you set her up with chores that the consequences of not doing them would affect her? Just a thought… PJ