CHILDREN'S CORNER with PANIC CHILUFYA
MOST children believe that money comes from a wallet, purse or an automated teller machine (ATM). They do not understand that it must first be earned to be there. Once they understand that people have to work to earn money, only then will it help in
instilling a positive work ethic in young people.
It is important for parents to teach children from an early age the value of working hard to acquire what they need and desire as they mature into adulthood instead of always waiting to ‘inherit’ from other people’s sweat and resourcefulness.
In my interaction with young adults to find out how they feel about earning their own money, it was interesting to discover that they are thriftier and have a lot more respect to how they spend it. They have a better understanding of how to appreciate and use their hard-earned cash. The experience helps to nurture them into responsible and independent young adults.
Victoria C, a 23-year-old, had this to say of her experience of earning her own money while waiting to go to university:
“I learnt that I enjoy being independent and being able to help out at home. I remember when I first got paid from a job I took after my Grade 12 exams as I was waiting for results. I bought my mother a set of glasses that she needed. This made me happy to see that I could contribute at home.
“With regard to hard work and labour, the experience opened my eyes to have more respect for people in their work capacities because it is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to do the same thing every day. I also learnt that if you enjoy what you do and give it your all, you will see the fruits and even your employers will commend you, which is fulfilling. Working is definitely a good way for young people to hone skills necessary for growing up into adult life.”
Twenty-year-old Natasha M believes that you cannot see any positive change in your life unless you put in work towards that change. It is only through hard work that one can achieve what they want in life. And to enjoy the benefits of the money earned, one has to be responsible by using it for the right things, and learning to save some of it is equally important. Laziness only leads to failure.
For Precious C, 24, finding a job after school before going to university opened her eyes to a lot of things. Firstly, it taught her to value what she earned after working hard. She was able to see that money doesn’t come easily because as she was growing up, “asking for money from her parents and receiving it was all I understood”. When they were unable to give it to her, she would become impatient. However, with the experience gained from working, she has learnt to understand that money is not always available, especially if one did not work for it. Precious also learnt that consistency and hard work yield good and positive results.
24-year-old Timothy M learnt three lessons, the first one being that of gratitude. It was a privilege to find a job where he was able to practise the training received from tertiary education into good use. There is the appreciation towards learning something new and real because a work environment has different dynamics when compared to school.
The second lesson learnt is that money is not freely given. It is important for someone to work hard, meaning that money is never given unless one shows they deserve it by working hard for it.
For Timothy, sadly, the third lesson is that sometimes hard work goes unnoticed, which can be demoralising especially when a young person has the choice of staying at home or hanging out with friends.
In addition, research has shown that when young people are involved in earning their own money, they develop a positive attitude towards work and life. It helps to cultivate a sense of self-belief of what they can accomplish. Such initiatives offer an opportunity to build skills, meet new challenges, perseverance and observe the results of their efforts that instil the value of hard work.
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care.
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