Love Labor September 10, 2018
We recently celebrated Labor Day, a moment in September when employees get an extra “no work” day. This is interesting since the purpose is to acknowledge the value of work. Labor statistics show we should be loving labor since there are a lot more people working now than two years ago.
Why should we love labor? The easy answer is it produces a paycheck, which allows more people to purchase goods, buy cars and homes, and save for the future. It also creates self-reliance, independence, dignity, and responsibility for one’s self. This is obvious for individuals, but what happens in families; especially affluent families?
Money not earned can do great damage to the giver and the recipients. A husband and wife gave each of their three children a five-figure amount to purchase a house. They met individually with each child, handed a check with their instructions for the intended use, and sat back waiting to bask in the gratitude. One child said it was not enough to buy the type of house they felt they needed. The other questioned why he had to use it to buy a house since he wanted other things. The third child said they were just trying to manipulate her. So much for gratitude.
Relationships became strained because dad and mom predetermined what they wanted for each child rather than asking them what they needed. Children who do not have to labor to earn their money can become entitled, dependent, irresponsible, and lack the confidence and self-image to be successful on their own. Involving a family coach could have produced a positive, rather than negative, outcome.
Teach, encourage, and create opportunities for children to love their labor rather than gifting to them and they will love you and themselves and value what they are able to achieve by their labor.
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