Teaching Kids the Value of Hard Work

                In today’s fast-paced digital age, numerous technologies compete for our children’s time and attention.  As if the demands of schoolwork weren’t enough.  Social networking sites, online gaming and the TV all seem to have conspired to distance our kids from us, entertaining them to the point of stupor and making them too lazy to spend quality time with the family at home.  Instead of settling down next to us on the patio and telling stories about their day, young people are too busy punching text messages and staring at the computer monitor.

                It is a far cry to the childhood I enjoyed.  Those were days spent biking around our neighbourhood, or playing hit the can with neighbourhood kids.  Every summer, my family always had a home improvement project. One year, my uncle who was really great with plumbing came to stay with us and helped install shower screens for our downstairs bath.  Another summer, we repainted our room lavender and pink, to make it look more grown-up for my sister and I.  Dad did the ceiling, Mom the walls, and we kids took chair of the baseboards and windows.  When it was all over, I felt so proud of myself, and psyched that at eleven, I did such a good job.

                When we were a bit older, we undertook building a really cool tree house for our garden.  That was the best project of all.  When I think of that summer, I remember waking up as early as seven in the morning very eager to begin working, even though it was summer and we were allowed to sleep in. Then the day would pass by like nothing at all, since the work kept me occupied and unaware of the hours.  On rest breaks, we would survey what we have finished so far, proud of the progress and giddily anticipating what it would look like when completed.  After dinner, I would fall down into my bed, tired in such a good way.  I would be asleep within minutes.  Early next morning, I’d wake up feeling glad about the world and raring to go again.

                When i see kids today wasting their summers by staying inside and developing carpal tunnel syndrome with their game sets, I couldn’t help but feel that they are missing out on such profound experiences that build character.  With so much of experiences occurring on a virtual or abstract level, the solid and tangible things tend to fall by the wayside.  Children could benefit so much from learning what they could accomplish, if only responsible adults would teach them how.