Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Work ethic – ‘It’s just a part-time job’
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My daughter is in college and works. But she gets fired or quits a lot.
She was always a girl of high standards, until college. She got scholarships, awards, recognition, and honors.
Her high school friends would be as shocked as I am with her new mentality; saying, “It’s just a part-time job, Mom.” or “It’s not like I’m putting this stuff on my resume.”
She even said I’m an example of having a good work ethic. I was a single mom working hard so she could go to college and have extras, like vacations, clothes, and attendance at a private school.
We’ve always had values like integrity, honesty, and service. Suddenly, they’re out the window, along with her high school friends.
We understand how disappointed you must feel. However, there are things to consider while helping your daughter evaluate her situation.
Questions you might ask her:
• Are you burnt-out from all your high school activities?
• How scared are you of keeping up with your high school friends, who also excelled?
• When can we have a deep discussion about your options?
• How about finding a good therapist and doctor for your well-being? Formal guidance is essential.
Possible follow-through suggestions to consider:
• Some highly engaged students, who are also high achievers, may need some downtime. Six months to a year might help your daughter unwind. Maybe she can work part-time while living at home.
It’s still necessary for her to have a daily schedule including exercise, restful activities (like reading), and walking in a park. More than a year’s downtime may turn into a lifestyle choice. It’s imperative to be productive for her self-worth and prosperity. We all need to have successful, financially-sustaining lives.
• Fear of maintaining excellence is valid. There are ways for her to manage her life by doing fewer activities and focusing on significant ones — talents, career choices and her mental and physical health. Help her take a serious look at FOMO (Fear of missing out). Maybe one social activity is enough each week.
• Discussions may help with scheduling and making choices. Possibilities might include timed vacations, part-time schooling, weekend trips home, or an intriguing job.
• Professional guidance can facilitate lifestyle and value choices. Having a good work ethic is required, no matter what you do, in order to help build a civil society. Our definition of civility is to be caring, considerate, and have courtesy.
She’ll learn to honor herself, others, and God, if that’s what she believes, while making critical life choices.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Join our 100th podcast celebration at BullyingLifeandStuff.com.