How Do Parents Teach Their Children About Work? A Qualitative Exploration of Household Chores, Employment, and Entrepreneurial Experiences

Abstract

This qualitative study examines the question, “How do parents teach their children about work?” The sample included 90 emerging adult “children” (between 18 and 30 years old), 17 parents, and eight grandparents. It spanned two generations in eleven families, and three generations in five families. Altogether the sample totaled (N = 115). Analyses revealed three major methods for teaching children about work: (1) implementing household chores and allowances, (2) facilitating paid employment, and (3) encouraging entrepreneurial experiences. Through each of these methods, children were taught valuable financial principles. Entrepreneurial experiences specifically taught children to work hard for money, to manage earned money via budgeting and saving, and to be independent. Implications for parents, educators, therapists, and policy makers are discussed.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Pseudonyms were used for all participants to protect confidentiality.

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Acknowledgements

Both Joshua E. Timmons and Elisabeth R. Kirchner should be acknowledged for equal contribution to the paper. We additionally acknowledge and thank Maria Anderson, McKay Boyack, and Stephanie Richardson for their help in the completion of this paper.

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Correspondence to Christoffer L. Loderup.

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Loderup, C.L., Timmons, J.E., Kimball, E.R. et al. How Do Parents Teach Their Children About Work? A Qualitative Exploration of Household Chores, Employment, and Entrepreneurial Experiences. J Fam Econ Iss 42, 73–89 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-020-09709-5

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Keywords

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Qualitative
  • Teaching children
  • Work
  • Financial socialization