Developing good work habits
Good personal habits are the foundation for lifelong achievement. Even at the youngest ages, you can help your children develop the work and study habits that teachers and employers value. These habits may be called by many names: work ethic, personal management, and self-management skills are a few. Regardless of its name, a good work ethic is the skill most valued by Oregon employers - they want honest, dependable, and productive workers.
Demonstrating personal management skills is one of the six career-related learning standards required for high school graduation in Oregon. Through a variety of school activities students must show that they can monitor their work and behavior, act appropriately and responsibly, and organize assignments. They are expected to exhibit appropriate work ethic and behaviors in their school, community, and the workplace.
How can I teach self-management skills at home?
You are your children's first teacher when it comes to good work habits. You demonstrate daily the importance of taking pride in what you do and doing a good job. To model a good work ethic at home, you need to set standards for yourself and your children. As your children mature into adolescence, they can earn greater independence by meeting obligations, being trustworthy, and respecting themselves and others.
- Responsibility. Follow-through on your own obligations and promises, and expect your children to do the same. When you have to work extra on a project, use that as a teaching moment - sometimes personal sacrifices need to be made to do a good job.
- Effort. Demonstrate how to schedule and perform household tasks. Maintain high standards for chores around the house. Your children don't have to be geniuses to get ahead. Success often goes to the people who know how to get the job done and are willing to do what it takes.
- Persistence. Give praise for jobs that are well done, and discuss jobs done incompletely. Expect your children to complete their tasks, sticking to them until they are done to the agreed upon standard.
- Focus. Expect all homework and school assignments to be done completely, neatly, and on time. They may have other activities to do, but they need to give their full focus (and effort) to each.
- Punctuality. Take your children to school and other activities on time.
Teach them the importance of being on time, by being punctual for
your own obligations as well.