Preparing your Children for a Working Life

As parents our job is to raise people who are able to go out into the world and be productive humans. Hopefully, happy ones, too. It’s our job to prepare them for all aspects of life – work, friendship, following the rules, knowing what’s right and wrong. One of the most important things we can do for a child is get them ready for real life and for most adults, real life means working.

Saying No-

There will always be someone who is above you, whether it is when you’re a child and your parents tell you what to do or when you’re an adult and your boss tells you what to do. Saying no sets up boundaries and teaches little people to respect authority.

To have a good working life, you need to respect the people in charge. Disciplined children grow up to be people who follow the rules and only challenge authority when their integrity is involved. People who have no discipline when growing up usually have a hard time in the workplace. If no one has ever said no to you or told you what to do, how on earth can you be a good employee? When you say no mean it.

Right and Wrong-

Give your children clear guidelines on what you think is right and what is wrong. In the workplace, somewhere along the line someone will ask them to do something that’s wrong. If they know the difference between the two, they’ll be able to make intelligent choices.

Independent Thinking-

As much as we want to control every move our children make, we need to let them spread their wings once in a while. We should let them try things out, even when we know they might fail. If you never get a chance to fail, you’ll never learn anything. Trying out a new skill and failing isn’t the end of the world. It’s a perfect lesson.

People who get to learn by trial and error are usually good independent thinkers. If someone always bails you out and saves you, or worse, never lets you try, you don’t learn anything. You may turn out to be someone who is afraid to take a chance. Good employees are sometimes willing to take a chance.


Small people crave structure. It helps them find their way through their day. An adult’s work day is also structured. If you spend a lifetime doing what you want, when you want and never have to do anything at a certain time, you’ll probably have a hard time in the work place.


Teaching kids how to express themselves appropriately is a good goal to strive for. It’s okay to disagree with someone but it’s how and what you say that matter. Teaching kids not to name call or belittle other people will make work easier. Teaching them to state their opinions without being overly emotional will help them in the workplace.

Being on Time-

The best way to teach kids to be on time is to be on time yourself. Don’t consistently be late for school, after school activities or doctors’ appointments. Being late for work, day after day, is not going to cut it in the work world. Kids who have no concept of time are going to find it difficult to get to work when they should.

Exposure to Different People-

Exposing your kids to wide variety of cultures and religions will help make life easier when they are out in the real world. Acceptance comes with knowledge. If you understand someone’s belief system, you’re more likely to be kinder and gentler to them. This will help when they’ve got a job.

Exposure to Different Experiences-

Let them try out anything that interests them. Be it cooking or sports or poetry. This helps children understand their likes and dislikes and themselves. They might find something they want to pursue as a career when they’re grown.

Basic Household Duties-

Little people need to know there isn’t a cleaning fairy. They need to know you won’t always be there to pick up their stuff, either. Teach them how to clean up after themselves so later, at work or in their own homes, they’ll know how.

Relaxation Techniques-

Life is stressful, sometimes. If you teach kids relaxation techniques when they are small, it will be that much easier for them when they are grown to fend of anxiety and stress. They’ll be able to incorporate this into daily life and as adults, it will be second nature.


That old stand-by, “All work and no play makes Jack, a dull boy,” is an old stand-by because it’s true. Kids need to be taught how to balance the have-to-do’s and the want-to-do’s. Teach them to balance work and play.


Nobody is going to raise a child that becomes a perfect adult. But you can try. My own mom raised five kids into five productive humans. She said she often felt she was missing the mark as we were growing. Now she says all the things she and my father did trickled down sometime when she wasn’t looking. All you can really do is the right thing and then, send them out into the world with a hope and a prayer.