My 8-year-old son wanted to earn money outside our home, but I wanted him to first learn about the internal rewards—the satisfaction of accomplishing real work—before being paid. So I looked for age-appropriate jobs where he could succeed and selected friends who would oversee his safety.
I asked them, "Can you give him grace for his faults and instill him with pride for his contribution, without paying him?"
The first time, my son spent an hour stacking twigs from a fallen tree in a friend's yard. He came home with a new confidence, which eventually produced an unexpected result: being able to see the needs of others.
Soon after, he noticed an elderly woman struggling to take her groceries out of her cart. Receiving my approval, he asked, "May I help you?"
The woman reached for her wallet.
"No, I just want to help," he said.
This article appeared in the April/May 2016 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2016 by Gary VanDeWalker. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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