EP38 Do Your Kids Really Know What Hard Work Is

Kids don't know what hard work is... very few adults even know what hard work is. Smart work is what we need... Your kids doing homework and think that's hard? That is called "practice".

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Welcome to this episode of, I don't know Jack about parenting where today I want to talk about what it means to work hard because I know my kid tells me all the time he's working hard and your kids probably tell you that too, and I believe that our kids don't know what hard work really is.

So welcome to this episode of I don't know Jack about parenting where I want to talk about hard work and, and, and I don't even know why I came up with this title. To be honest with you. I just got to thinking as some things I've witnessed in society in recent weeks. I'm going to be transparent. Honest here. I work from home, I do zoom or teleconferencing with my clients. I market from my home. I borrowed it from my computer or my phone. Uh, I do not get out anymore than I have to. I'm not one who enjoys lines or traffic or any of that stuff. So I have created a life and designed a life where I don't have to deal with a lot of that stuff. So I probably don't work very hard. What I do work is smart and when I hear my son or even your children, oh, that's such hard work.

That is not hard work

I think they don't know what hard work is like, oh, you have to do 20 minutes worth of homework tonight. That is not hard work. That's practice. And my son often says to me, dad, why don't have to do all this homework? And I said, it's just practice. And uh, the more practice you get, the better you get. And I always use the analogy for him of playing video games. He studies these things. He'll go onto YouTube and study what another player who's played it before, what the moves are. Say he could go in and do it, so he studies it and then he goes and implements till he gets better and better and better. I said, you'll, you'll do that for that because you enjoy it, but here's the thing. You need to get proficient in other areas, and I use the word proficient to my seven year old because when he doesn't understand, he says, Dad, what does that mean? And then I get to explain it to him and he has a new word in his vocabulary.

I don't hold back terminology. I don't think I have the biggest vocabulary as it is. So for him to gain a couple of words that we'll use the word the other day, I don't remember what it was. Anyway, I use those words because if he doesn't understand, he'll ask for. I use the example of video games so that he can learn that this is practice, right? And the more you practice this video game, the better you're going to get at it and you're going to get to the next level and the next level, the next level. And that's why we do our homework. But it is not hard work, I imagine, based on my listenership and the people who are listening to podcasts and this is an overall generalization that most of you are not milking the cow or getting up with the roosters before you head off to your day job and your kids aren't either. That to me would be hard work, right? Making sure that the animals are cared for before you go off to school to come home and make sure that the animals are fed again before you have your own meal. That to me is kind of hard work, but I imagine most of us, especially in the United States here, we're a little spoiled. We don't really know what hard work is that our kids get caught up in the sense that, oh, that's hard work. 

Justin Timberlake

I mentioned it a couple episodes ago that you know, my son wrote a book now that to me is not hard work. That's him creating an intellectual property that is him, a yielding, a work that probably took them a couple of weeks that could literally, if he really wanted to publish it and put it out there and market it, yield him dollars for years and years and years and years to come. Is that hard workers, that smart work. When you think of recording artists, rock and roll bands, pop artists, uh, you know, Justin Timberlake wrote and performed a video 10, 15, 20 years ago, go that. Every time it gets played, he still makes money off of it. That is not hard. Work is smart work. Our kids don't know what hard work is, so it's our job as parents in my opinion, to introduce them to creating disciplines so that certain things that they have to do aren't hard work.

So introducing them to music, playing a musical instrument which takes a lot of dedication, focus and energy. Introducing them to sports, which takes a lot of focus and energy, but dedication, focus, focus, and energy in a way that they're having fun, right? Playing a musical instrument for some kids is an absolute joy. It's their getaway for some kids. You don't make it. My son loves to write books. He loves to find ways to make money. I wonder why is that's an entrepreneur, so he enjoys having a lemonade stand, like I did it with them and then you know the next year he's like data. We do a lemonade stand again. That was fun and I made money like that's a good combination for him. Fun and making money so he could go buy video games. But even the video games, as long as it doesn't get out of hand for me is always an example of how when he puts time, energy and effort note, even though he's not good at it at the beginning when he pops in, a new video game is usually not good at it. He has to learn it.

It took you time

Hey, it became fun once you started getting a little better and the challenge was exciting. So the challenge of learning your math homework is exciting. It's not hard work. Just like the video game wasn't hard work. It was just a challenge. So I encourage you when your children are saying, oh, this is hard work, or they're mimicking maybe something someone else said, encourage an analogy in something that they really love and have fun doing. Say, listen, you weren't always good at that. It took you time. I fortunately have a little one in the house right now where I get to a reference, hey, he's learning his abcs. He's learning how to say words right now. He's up to like a vocabulary and maybe 10 words. And none of them really sound like what he said. Oh, this morning was the cutest thing when he's on the couch or on a chair or something.

We're always. And if we walk away, we say, don't forget feet first in this morning with his little pacifier in his mouth. And he'd go feet first. He said it through his pacifier. And it was the first time I heard him say two words together. Um, and they just happened to be feet first. So I have the benefit of saying, look, everyday he's learning something new, but it takes a lot of repetition by you mommy and daddy to teach him these things, but he's practicing and he's getting better. Same thing with you. You're practicing certain skills in your getting better. See, I don't know, Jack about parenting. I always like to add that in here. It just makes a lot of common sense that these are things that we need to do. I don't want my kids ever think that work is hard because they're going to have to be working the rest of their lives.

I don't want them to put those words together unless it's truly hard work, but even then there's a certain sense of accomplishment and joy and integrity to to starting something and completing it that I want them to appreciate all of those aspects of it and I don't ever want them thinking that, oh, this is difficult or this is hard and I don't want to do it. I want them to have the perception like, Hey, I could do anything. I put my mind to it and at the beginning it may not always be easy and it never becomes easy. I just get better at it through practice and repetition will see in the next episode.


Ryan Roy

About the Author

Ryan Roy

Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.

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