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The Younger You Teach Your Children to Do This, the More Likely They Are to Be Successful

Aug 18, 2007
If your child's success in life is important to you, there's one thing you must do while they're young. Regardless of whether they work in business, ministry, the home, in government, in a school, or anywhere else, doing this one thing for them will pay off big.

Back in 1883, Wilbur Crafts, a well-known author, pastor, and public speaker of his day, published a book called Successful Men of Today. Crafts surveyed hundreds of successful businessmen and found something very unusual. The vast majority of them grew up in the country. Crafts said, "I find... that while only 47% of our population of working age reside in country districts, they furnish 57% of our successful men. While the cities, with 20% of the population, furnish 17% (of the successful men). A very large majority of our famous men were farmers' boys."

But Crafts went on to say that being from the country was not what made these men successful. What made them successful was that, as farmer boys, they learned to work hard at a very young age.

While Crafts' information is over 120 years old, Marty Rossmann, at the University of Minnesota, confirmed his finding in 2002. Rossmann studied 84 young adults. She recorded how young their parents made them do chores and compared it to their success (measured by completing education, starting a career path, IQ scores, relationships with family and friends, and not using drugs). She discovered that the children who learned to do chores when they were three or four was the best predictor of the person's success in their mid-20s.

Some parents feel that they can wait to teach their children to work when they're teenagers. But Rossmann's research found that this was the worst time to teach children to work. In fact, those children who didn't do household chores until they were 15 or 16 were the least successful of all those she studied.

Learning to work at a young age was so important, it was a bigger factor in a child's success than anything else -- including IQ.

So if you want your children to be successful in life, teach them to work when they're young. Training a three-year-old to work isn't going to hurt them (as long as you don't overwhelm them). In fact, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

(Source: Crafts, Wilbur F. Successful Men of Today, 1883; www1.umn.edu/systemwide/enews/101702.html.)
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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