Teaching Meaning and Purpose to Your Children Through Giving.
Our world needs givers. People who are not self-indulged and care for no one but themselves and their own needs. Help develop young lives that are happy and see the needs of others!
One of the defining characteristics of Millennials and Gen Z is they are driven by a quest to live, work and experience meaning and purpose. When they can’t articulate or don’t find a reason for life or what drives them, they are likely to crash and burn.
Corporations and higher education focus on meaning and purpose to attract and engage students and new talent. But there is a big problem, they don’t seem to know what they are or when asked what drives them, they look like deer caught in the headlights. Ask them what drives or motivates them. They say they want to work for a company that has a social conscience but don’t ask specifically what that would look like.
So how do you as a parent teach character, meaning and purpose that defines and drives this generation? Money is one of the defining elements in understanding your child and their future.
Here is a practical way for you to understand your child and also to teach them the value of their own lives.
1. Give your child some money. $20, 50 or 100. Nothing crazy. They don’t get to keep it but they have to give it away. They must think carefully about who they give it to. Why they give it. What the outcome of giving it would be. Giving what you have not earned has little value but being thoughtful about how you invest in human capital even with money from someone else can make a difference.
2. Some young people have never had to work and create anything by their own strength or effort. They have never earned a paycheck or any money to speak of. The concept of sacrifice is not one they have experienced. They have been given everything and have never really given anything.
3. Give your child a job that requires time and real honest effort. Pay them for the job. Then ask them to give what they have earned to someone they identify who really needs the money. Watch their emotions before and after. Simply watch where and how they spend money. What or who do they spend money on? Do they give money to any organization? 4. Do they ever donate money? What causes do they support? Watch how generous they are. When they are with their friends, go out to eat, share with siblings. How would you describe their use of money?
5. Ask your child to choose a project or organization they think deserves help. Get them to identify or research where they can give their time. Their time is worth money. Get them to identify how much money an hour of their time is worth.
I hope these simple ideas help. Please feel free to share your experiences.
Remember if you need help, just call (425) 492-4300 or email me.