Importance of a Work Ethic

So much of young people’s activities today seem geared toward entertainment. I have always supported relaxing and having fun, but lately I am wondering how to instill a work ethic and teach the value of contributing to one’s family and society. I think these are so important for success in life. Please help!

—Wondering, Canada

Dear Wondering,

You’re so right about the importance of a work ethic.

When my daughter was only five or six, I had her fold her clean laundry. Usually, she needed help, as the boredom of the chore would put her to sleep.

A rule at home during my youth was to work first and play later. Even today, when there’s a stack of work facing me, I want to get at it—now! Other projects are often ahead in line, but my aim is to finish that stack quickly so I can relax and enjoy time for myself.