The relationship between work and study should not be underestimated.
It is important that youngsters in general, and teenagers in particular, get real life experience of what it takes to succeed in the ‘real world’, what it takes to make money, and how hard dad or mum have to work to earn those extra few cents.
Recently a dad talked about the problems of getting his son to study; the family is wealthy and the son saw little need to make any effort to revise, do well in his forthcoming exams, and move onto a university and undergraduate subject with prospects of a rewarding career.
He saw his parents, particularly mum, as a ‘soft touch’.
The harder the concerned parents tried, the more obstinate the son became; the inverse law of proportionality seemed to be at work, or perhaps the law of diminishing returns. Necessity was definitely not the mother of invention!
‘Man he is a Lazy B…!’ complained the father.
At school, the youngster seemed to have learnt a lot about his ‘rights’ – but little about responsibility.
He didn’t realise that ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ are the same bedfellows – they both start with the letter ‘r’!
The current situation was inevitable…
Things changed, however, after our recommendation that the son spend time working in the kitchens of one his father’s famous restaurants over the summer holidays (well, what else did he expect given his parents’ gentler efforts?).
Washing plates to earn his pocket-money was no fun; it didn’t take long before the grades started to improve.
Study was clearly a better option than washing plates in the kitchen.
Take Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.
Warren has a wise head on his shoulders and drives the same old car and lives in the same old house as he did at the start of his career; his common sense has to be respected since his actions reflect his words.
He can afford to live in mansions, drive better cars but through his example has made clear that he intends to give most of his wealth to charity.
Warren believes that his children must learn to earn a living, make their own way in the real world.
The last thing he wants is to ‘handicap’ his progeny by handing over his billions.
Some of the smartest students at The University of Oxford in The Business Management School often spent their summer holidays waiting at tables before they got First Class Honours.
They are now CEOs of major companies, earning a very healthy living.
Consider another example from the world of tennis, the William sisters where Venus and Serena dominated the women’s game for many years.
Their early history is one of being introduced to the ‘Bronx’ by their dad where gang bullets were not uncommon whilst they trained.
The William sisters soon realized that working for success in tennis was a better option than living in ghettos.
Where cajoling fails, direct experience often succeeds.
If you want your children to study more effectively, let them work for it!