A Better Future – Teaching the Youth the Importance of Honest, Hard Work
Somewhere along the way, we have lost the importance of value in hard work.
Sure, we still give our all to maintaining our lifestyles and positions at work and in society.
But you can’t deny that almost all of us are always search for easy ways out, shortcuts and privileges that’ll allow us to work less and earn the same praise and money. And we’re often quite proud when we’re able to use those shortcuts.
Yet, when you get to the crux of the matter, you have to wonder; is the mediocre effort really praiseworthy? Hasn’t this need for shortcuts made us lazier, and how can we teach our youth to value hard work again?
Praising the Bare Minimum Effort
Instead of giving our youth a cookie or a blue ribbon for doing what they’re expected to do, we should encourage them to learn that doing their best isn’t always going to win them any rewards, at least at the start.
They must do more; try newer things, actually put in some effort and use their intellect. They must learn from their mistakes, not be kept from making them.
Now, for the millennial parents, this might seem a bit harsh. After all, not being praised for your hard work didn’t do you any favors, and you want to protect your child from that disappointment.
But the truth here is that the reason why not being praised for your hard work didn’t work for you, is because you weren’t praised at all.
That was an extreme. And right now, we’re at the opposite end of the pole.
Before, people were expected to do everything without praise, because it was believed that appreciation would encourage complacency.
Now, we’re praising people so much for the smallest effort they’re expecting commendation for every little thing. This has been feeding their need for self-validation. And as we start craving this validation more, we move away from working honestly, and instead start looking for shortcuts so we can get to the destination faster, preferably without working too hard for it.
Encouraging the Youth for a Positive Future
In such situations, as a parent, a mentor or a teacher, it is your job to be constructive.
Instead of giving out a compliment or sticking a star on top of their paper, do something that would reinforce their strengths. If a teenager expresses a certain potential for leadership, sign them up for an urban youth empowerment programs hosted by organizations such as Youth with a Future.
Teach them to channel their hard work towards something that would help them be the better person. Instead of forcing them to compete so they can excel, educate them on working together through leadership development workshops.
In short; help them create a sense of balance between success and happiness through hard work, so their future can be more rewarding!