If you are committed to teaching your kids how the world operates, teach them about money.

photo credit: wikimedia commons

photo credit: wikimedia commons

You can use financial principles to teach everything from math problems to social issues. That’s because money is about values, relationships, choices and self-worth.

And while teaching your kids important values to guide their lives is of the utmost importance, when all is said and done those values are more likely to be caught than taught.

You have to live what you teach.

If there is one thing that will ruin your kids’ lives, it’s greed. Teach them while they’re young how to pull the plug on greed, and you will have prepared them in a very important way to not only survive, but to also thrive in the real world.

Lesson for Kids: When you give, you defeat your enemy greed

The feeling of desire, of wanting everything you can think of is called greed. Greed is not a good thing. In fact, it’s like a very bad disease. It starts small and if allowed to grow it will take over your life. Greed will make you a very miserable person. Greed causes temper tantrums and makes people self-centered and arrogant. And it is very sneaky.

You know that twinge of envy you felt when your best friend showed you her cool new phone? Or when another friend said really loud at lunch how her dad is buying her a brand new car for her 16th birthday? Multiply that feeling by 10 and you’ll have a good idea what full-blown greed feels like. It’s not good.

The problem with greed is that it drives us to do things that are hazardous to our futures. Greed says it’s OK to have everything we want now and to figure out how to pay for it later. Greed is something everyone has to deal with and the sooner you can learn how to defeat that enemy, the better off and happier you will be.

The antidote for greed is to be thankful for what you have already. You prove your gratitude when you are willing to give away part of the three Ts―your time, your talent and your treasure. Everyone, no matter how young or poor, has some of all three.

Time. You get 24 hours every day; 10,080 minutes or 604,800 seconds every week.

Talent. This is what you can do. Everyone has special talents, things they are good at doing.

Treasure. This is what you have; your possessions. It’s your money, and also your toys, clothes, collections―everything that you own.

If you have never been a giver, it may seem quite odd for me to suggest you should just give away any of your time or your stuff. But that is exactly what I mean.

If you want to make sure you are never defeated by greed, learn to be a giver.

When you give to others it helps you to be grateful for what you have. Giving is the way to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Instead of misery you feel joy. In place of dissatisfaction you find contentment.

Giving away part of your money and other possessions is quite simple. You can give to a homeless shelter, to a family going through difficult times, to your church or other charitable organization. The way you give of your time is to volunteer. There are lots of ways kids can volunteer to make their communities better. Here are some ideas:

  • Help a younger child to read.
  • Help cook or serve a meal at a homeless center.
  • Pack and hand out food at a local food bank.
  • Visit senior citizens at a nursing home.
  • Plant flowers in public areas that could use some color.
  • Clean up and bring toys you don’t play with anymore to a hospital.
  • Baby sit for free to help a single parent.
  • Bake cookies and bring them to your local fire or police station.

Become a giver. It will greatly improve your life.

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