‘Dirty Jobs’ Star Mike Rowe’s Explains ‘the Trick’ to Motivating Kids to Do Hard Work

by Keeli Parkey

Most parents will tell you that convincing their children to do hard work can sometimes be very difficult. If you find yourself in such a situation, “Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe has some words of advice for you.

He shared his thoughts on this topic – and many others – during March 2021 interview on NewsNation Now with journalist Ashleigh Banfield. Like many parents, she had been having difficulty getting her children to do what she asked them to do.

“I am a gray cloud raining hard with gale-force winds on these kids. And I always have been,” Banfield told the “Dirty Jobs” star. “I still can’t get those simple things done. And I feel like other parents say the same thing. I thought I should do a whole show with Mike Rowe to help parents get their kids to do hard work.”

Rowe, of course, did have some words of wisdom on the subject.

“Here’s the trick. Most parents think that the key to getting their kids tricked into doing hard work is to either reward them or to, in some way, instill a level of character that inspires in them a willingness to do the hard thing – whether it’s make the bed or cut the wood or do the chores or fill in the blank,” he began.

‘Dirty Jobs’ Star Mike Rowe Said Children Have to Learn to ‘Like Discomfort’

However, rewards and instilling character aren’t enough, according to the “Dirty Jobs” star.

“The next level, though, is actually a bit more nuanced than that. What you’ve got to do is find a way to make them like discomfort,” Mike Rowe also said.

Rowe then expanded on that idea. “You have to find a way to associate pleasure with pain. And I’m not talking in a sadomasochistic way. I’m just saying that you can train yourself to associate discomfort with success,” he added.

“You also need to come to my house and try that out is what I’m saying,” Ashleigh Banfield replied with a laugh. “I’m like everyone else. How do you associate the discomfort with pleasure? You give them an award (for hard work), but that doesn’t always work either.”

The “Dirty Jobs” star is also very aware that even with his advice, it can be very difficult to get children to want to do hard work. He is also very aware that all children are different and will respond differently. “And, you know, sorry – there’s no playbook,” Rowe also said.

He credits his willingness to work hard to others. “But I got lucky. I had a couple of great mentors in school,” he shared.

You can watch “Dirty Jobs” star Mike Rowe and Ashleigh Banfield discuss how to get children to do hard work below. Their discussion on this topic begins around the 10:15 mark of the video.