Monday, August 1, 2016

Help Your Kid Say "How Can I Help?"

Helping Hands

“How can I help?”

Four of the most magical words you’ll ever hear coming from a kid’s mouth.

I’m convinced that the genuine desire to help others is a leading indicator of future financial stability and overall contentment. It just seems logical that people who readily help others would make for more desirable employees, spend less on vanity items, and enjoy a stronger sense of gratitude.

It’s just a hunch. I can’t prove it. I’m still looking for the “helpfulness” equivalent of the famous Marshmallow experiment that links delayed gratification behavior in children to more successful life outcomes.

Even if I’m wrong, you have to admit: it sure feels good to raise a helpful kid. No?

So, how do we get our kids to utter the words “How can I help?” more often?

Utter them yourself. Frequently. With your kid in tow.

You’re dropping your kid off for soccer practice as the coach approaches with the big bag full of cones, pinnies, and balls.

“How can I help?” you say.

You’re picking your kid up at the Birthday party as the host is busily corralling the guests and gathering celebratory detritus.

“How can I help?” you say.

Your spouse is chatting with your kid in the kitchen while preparing dinner as you arrive from your daily commute.

“How can I help?” you say.

Your kid is sitting at the table engrossed in a video game as you fumble at the side door with an armload of groceries.

“How can I help?” your kid says.

Presto change-o — magical!

P.S. Are you looking for effective ways to raise kids who are thoughtful and responsible with money? How can I help? Just hit reply to my weekly email.

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