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Attitude Makeover: Greedy

Step 5. Encourage Savings and Financial Planning
Studies find that a large percentage of kids today are wasteful when it comes to money: most want to spend rather than save. We need to help kids fight their spending urges and teach them money management skills when they are young. Here are eight ways:
  • For a young child, buy a piggy bank to save coins. Make a rule that it must be filled before the money is spent.
  • Give a weekly or monthly allowance (depending on age) so that she can learn to budget money.
  • Make her write down her intended purchase and post it for a few days before she buys it. A younger kid can draw it on her "wish list."
  • Older kids should be required to spend their own money on entertainment and nonessential items. Don't give out loans.
  • Help a younger child open up a savings account and an older child a checking account so that they can monitor their money and spending.
  • Require that a portion of her allowance go to a charity of her choice.
  • Require a set portion of her allowance always to be saved.
  • Say no to frivolous, rash buying and don't give in.
Step 6. Require Giving To Others
One of the best ways to curb kids' greedy attitudes is by requiring that they give to others. Begin by having your family choose a family cause. For example, give part of a weekly allowance to needy kids, adopt an orphan through Save the Children, deliver used toys (in good condition) to the fire department, or bake cookies for the lonely neighbor next door. Once your family decides on a cause, commit to carrying it out. Or give your kids their allowance and require that a portion go to a charity of their choice. That kind of hands-on giving activity can foster an attitude of giving that will help counter greediness more powerfully than almost anything else.

The First 21 Days
Embark on a Family Generosity Project, which represents the opposite of greed and reinforces more positive values that emphasize alternative ways to achieve true happiness. For example, make it a goal to give away 5 percent, 10 percent, or as much as you can of everything in your house: clothing, books, toys, tools, DVDs, CDs, and other expendable objects. Have your kids pack everything up in boxes and help you deliver them to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Catholic Charities, or another favorite local charity. Their participation will be a big part of learning that it really is better to give than to receive.

Attitude Makeover Pledge
How will you use these six steps to help your kid become less greedy and achieve long-term change? On the lines below, write exactly what you agree to do within the next twenty-four hours to begin changing your kid's attitude so he is less greedy and more generous.


From Don't Give Me That Attitude by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2004 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

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