If we want to develop a work ethic in our children we need to start while they are young.

Daniel making juice Jessica ironing



Each and every day, in every activity, we have the choice to live a life of Character and can I make every opportunity to raise the value of character in my children’s thinking. Daily household chores are a good time for us to remind our children of these issues in their lives.

  • In our instruction
  • In our praise
  • In our giving of consequences

When our children are in training they are being given plenty of instructions and it makes sense to incorporate our character training in these instructions. For example as I give the instruction to my child to do the breakfast dishes, I remind them to be Diligent with the dishes this morning by concentrating only on the dishes, and not to get distracted. (In saying these words I am painting a picture of what Diligence looks like).

When the task is completed we have the opportunity to praise our child. To say “Good girl” is praise, but it doesn’t make the most of our opportunity to raise character in our children’s minds. To say, “Well done, daughter, you completed the breakfast dishes very quickly this morning; I can see you were Diligent by not being distracted.” Here is another opportunity to put into their minds what Diligence actually looks like.

Read more on Praising our Children

Unfortunately, training our children takes more than telling them something once and them then getting it and receiving our praise! There will be times when they don’t choose character, such as Diligence, they choose instead to be lazy. They choose to play silly games and distract not only themselves from their chores but their siblings as well. A consequence is in order – one that teaches them that they should have chosen Diligence.

The Bible has lots of instruction about the lazy man. The lazy man doesn’t eat, the lazy man is poor, and the lazy man misses opportunities. There is plenty of scope for finding consequences from those ideas alone. Basically the lazy man goes without. What does your child need to go without in order to learn the importance of Diligence?

Without a doubt, diligence is the most visited Character Trait in our home, when we are dealing with household chores. This is because it incorporates so many other traits –

I will finish my projects – Diligence, Determination, Endurance, Obedience, Thoroughness, and Truthfulness

I will do a job right – Diligence, Attentiveness,

I will follow instructions – Diligence, Obedience, Attentiveness,

I will concentrate on my work – Diligence, Attentiveness, Contentment, Self-Control,

I will not be lazy – Diligence, Decisiveness, Dependability, Enthusiasm, Initiative, Resourcefulness,

Words in bold from Character First Diligence
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