How to Teach Your Children About Giving to Others
How can I help my family learn charity?-- Elizabeth Patton,34, PLANT CITY, FL
Elizabeth, an elementary school teacher, is stepmom to her husband Michael's two daughters, ages 11 and 17. Money wasn't a big issue for her family growing up, and giving was part of their routine. "I had a very blessed childhood, and was raised to bless others," she says. Her new family, however, never developed the habit. Part of this is fear of scarcity, she says: Michael, 42, a pipe fitter and welding foreman, went through a bad divorce in which he was forced to declare bankruptcy and lost his home. But three years later, the family is financially stable. Elizabeth tries to lead by example, but wants her family to start taking the initiative in helping others.
DAVE:You are very fortunate, because you came from a family that practiced giving. But it feels unnatural and scary to your husband and kids because they haven't had the chance to flex their giving muscles. Go slow.
For starters, I'd point out to your husband that giving doesn't just help the recipients of the gift. In my years of financial coaching, I have noticed that people who win with money do the same three things: They save, they spend wisely and, yes, they give generously.
It seems like a contradiction, right? But it's not. As people give more, they have a tendency to build even more wealth. That's not a weird, mystical, hocus-pocus situation; it's because generous people are more attractive. They have a more open spirit. They're better at work. They lead better. Money, promotions and opportunities all have a way of flowing to those who have the character to handle them, and a big part of that character is developing an unselfish spirit.
RACHEL:That's true of the younger family members as well—if they learn to give, it will help them grow into compassionate adults. One Christmas, I remember going with my family to shop for a less fortunate family. The experience has really stuck with me.
DAVE:Once you've sat down with Michael and discussed how important giving is to you, you can make it more concrete for him. Start doing the family budgettogether, and include a small giving fund along with the gas and groceries. Show him on paper that you have room to be generous without putting the family in danger. If the mortgage is paid, the lights are on, and you guys have enough money to eat, writing in some giving money won't be so scary. But don't go overboard the first month! Maybe start with 2% to 3%, and then step it up to 5%, with the goal of hitting 10% at some point.
RACHEL:Also, create opportunities for the children to give their own money. Suggest they take something out of their own piggy bank and use it to buy, say, toiletries for a homeless shelter. It will have a much bigger emotional impact on your kids if they are stewards of their money, and not just couriers of yours.
And of course it doesn't always have to be about money. In fact, when you have a giving spirit, you'll find many ways to share. Sometimes, donating time will teach your kids more about generosity than even money can—and everyone has a little time to spare.
WD $ EXPERTS
Dave Ramsey's latest book is , coauthored with his daughter Rachel Cruze.The Dave Ramsey Showis heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations.
Video: Sick of Your Child Lying? This is How to Make it Stop.
8 Ways To Wake Up Happy
15 New Haircuts to Show Your Stylist: Revamp Your Look
Herschel Supply Co. Bags: AW14 Collection
Apple has considered an Apple TV dongle, similar to the Roku Streaming Stick
60 Hottest Bob Hairstyles for Everyone (Short Bobs, Mobs, Lobs)
How to Manage Anxiety with Journaling
Quotes for Funny Marathon Spectator Signs
Nueve consejos para evitar la depresión postvacacional
How to Love a Married Man
7Self-Defense Techniques That Can Save Your Life
How to Become a Radiology Technician
Two Fish Roast Recipe