Recommended age: 12+
Unless you live on a farm, teaching your kids to work hard and why it’s important is something that is really challenging for most families. Screens and distractions are everywhere. We really have to swim against the current (and listen to our kids’ complaints), to make sure they develop grit. Entitlement is rampant in our culture. How do we combat this?
Enter Mike Rowe. You might know him from the show “Dirty Jobs”.
I just love Mike’s philosophy about life. He is so full of common sense, he is non-pretentious, super practical, a great storyteller, and his opera voice isn’t half bad either! Mike noticed a disconnect between what high schoolers are typically advised to do by school counselors and the results of this advice in the real world. He noticed that many people in the trades are making a ton of money. They have no student loans and very little competition. Yet somehow, society often tends to look down on these hard-working people who have skills that are vital for our communities.
He decided to start a foundation (mikeroweWORKS.org) that gives scholarships to students going to trade school- but to be able to use the scholarship, they have to sign the S.W.E.A.T pledge. This means that “Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo”. He also developed a series of YouTube videos that explain the pledge and why it is important.
What is the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge?
I. LOVE. THESE.
(Sorry, the image online has the words super small- you can purchase your own copy here. I’m getting one to put on the fridge. But just beware- it opens into Ebay for you to purchase, and Ebay advertises other items as well on the same page- including soft porn posters. Yikes! You won’t want your kids in the room when you order.)
We binge-watched the S.W.E.A.T. videos for Family Home Evening one night and had a ton of discussion around them. So, so good and it held my teenagers’ attention really well. They are entertaining as well as impactful. Here is a quick synopsis of each lesson:
Here is the first video, and I encourage you to watch them all! To me, this isn’t about encouraging kids to go into the trades– it is about the attitude with which we approach life, and work. It’s an attitude which fosters gratitude, hard work, and self-respect.
Let’s use media to make work cool again.