16 Steps To Train Your Children
To Become Truly Rich
Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.
— Lazarus Long
Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
— Proverbs 22:6
One day, my friend gave her clothes to her house helper. The next day, her husband came home from work. He sees his wife in the kitchen and rushes to her and embraces her. And both of them scream.
Because the woman wasn’t his wife but his helper wearing the clothes of his wife.
Friend, there’s a difference between the person and the clothes. There are some parents who confuse money and wealth.
What they do is they give money to their kids—thinking it will make them wealthy. No. The clothes don’t make the person. Wealth is much more than money.
Give your children your wealth, not your money. What do I mean? The Bible says, An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end. –Proverbs 20:21
If you’ll let your kids inherit your money—without them inheriting your real wealth— will be a disaster. The money will
disappear. And your kids will disappear too. You destroy their lives.
Obviously, when I say wealth, I mean love, relationships, wisdom, faith, humility, responsibility — all the best stuff life has to offer.
Today, I’d like to talk about how you can train our children to be truly rich. Here are the 16 Steps to train your kids become Happy Millionaires:
Spend Time With Them
Bill was an Executive. One day, his son’s teacher called him up if he could go to his son’s school. He said, “Oh, I don’t do those things. I’m too busy. My wife attends all the Parent-Teacher’s Meetings, etc.”
But the teacher insisted and said, “No, I don’t want to talk to your wife. I want to talk to you.”
Bill had no choice. When he met the teacher in school, the teacher said, “I have something to show you. This is your son’s family drawing. Look at it.”
Bill looked at what his son drew. He asked, “I don’t get it. I’m not there. Everyone is there except me. Where am I?” The teacher said, “That was my exact question to your son. I asked him, ‘Where is your father?’ And he said, ‘Oh, it’s okay. He’s always not at home. He doesn’t have to be in the family picture.’”
That day, Bill felt like someone punched him in the jaw. He changed his schedule and decided to spend more time with his kids.
For children, love is spelled t-i- m-e. If you spend time with them, you’re able to do two things:
First, they’ll feel important. Their self-value goes up. They feel worthy of love. They will treat themselves better. They’ll honor their needs.
Second, by osmosis, they’ll catch your values. Your attitude. Your faith. Your love for God. Your love for others.
Eat breakfast together. Eat dinner together. Play together. The most important gift you can give them—aside from your faith in God—is self-esteem. If you love them, they will learn to love themselves.
Believe in your kids and affirm them often
A young girl Cindy baked a cake. It was the first cake she ever baked. It really didn’t look nice. It was off balance and lumpy. And my gosh, there was such a mess in the kitchen. Pots and pans everywhere. Spilt milk on the floor. Eggshells on the counter.
But she was so proud of her cake and she was waiting for her parents to arrive home. And when they finally arrived, she jumped in front of them and said, “Come into the kitchen!”
When they entered, she flipped open the lights and said, “Tada!” pointing to the crooked cake on the table. But the mother didn’t even look at the table. She could only see the mess.
And she said, “What in the world happened here? Did a tornado hit the kitchen? Cindy, you’re twelve years old. Haven’t I told you to always clean up? When I wake up tomorrow morning, this kitchen be better clean or else!” and she stormed out of the kitchen and into the bedroom.
Friend, don’t make that mistake. Here’s a rule: Focus on the cake, not at the mess that created the cake.
Your children will create a lot of mess. Focus on their little successes and make a big fuss about those successes! Build their confidence by allowing them to experience small successes.
Cindy will sleep that night as a failure, not as a success. Parents, your job is to let your children sleep more often as a success, not as a failure.
Teach them to pray and be grateful
for God’s blessings
Each night, we ask the kids to enumerate their blessings of the day. Each morning, we thank God for his coming blessings. Remember: When you’re grateful for the blessings, more blessings come!
Happy people are grateful people. And grateful people are happy people. Always!
When you’re able to teach your kids a deep sense of gratitude, they’ll always be happy—no matter what happens to
them in life. What greater gift can you give them than teaching them how to be happy?
Help Them Find Their Passion And
Define Success On Their Own
I know of a priest who, after only one month of being ordained, left the priesthood. He’s now happily married with kids.
Because after his ordination, he realized that he was only fulfilling his mother dream, not his.
I know of a doctor who studied medicine, passed the medical board exams, but today, he’s selling clothes in the market. Because after a few years of practicing medicine, he realized he never wanted to be a doctor. His parents, both doctors, wanted him to be a doctor.
Parents, don’t let your children fulfill your dreams. Let your children fulfill their own dreams. Respect their creativity. Don’t impose what you want them to do. Give suggestions. Give them opportunities. Let them try out new things. But at the end of the day, encourage them to follow their interests.
Also, tell your kids that we now live in an age where we can do two things at the same time. They can be a doctor and a musician, an entrepreneur and a painter, an engineer and a cook. So take off the lid of limitation and let them fly.
Talk About Money In A Positive Way
You can pass on to your kids your own relationship with money. If you have a negative relationship with money, they might inherit that.
So stop saying, “We’re poor.” If you have no money, you can say, “We’re temporarily broke.”
Stop saying, “We can’t afford it!” Say instead, “We can afford it but we choose not to buy it.”
Stop saying, “It’s so difficult to earn money.” Say, “Money is flowing like a river towards us.”
Stop saying, “Rich people are greedy crooks.” Say, “Be like the richest men in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who donated 80% of their wealth.”
Stop saying, “Too much money will bring you to hell.” Say instead, “Too much money can help you help more people.”
Teach Them The Right Values—
To Serve, To Be Faithful, To Be Honest
Values are not taught as much as caught. If your kids see you serving, they will serve. If your kids see you honest, they too will be honest. If your kids see you faithful, they too will be faithful. This isn’t a guarantee. But the probabilities are very high that they will do what they see you do.
Give Them Responsibilities
At Home, In School, In Ministry, In Business
Give your kids chores.
If you’re part of a church or spiritual community, let them
If you’re part of a church or spiritual community, let them serve there. (Another reason why you should be part of one.) Let them start a business.
I started preaching when I was 13 years old. I became a
I started preaching when I was 13 years old. I became a prayer group leader when I was 14 years old. All these early experiences made me who I am today.
If you saw how I looked like at 13, you’d mistake me for a malnourished TB patient. How in the world did I become a speaker?
My prayer group leader chose me to serve. She saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. And my parents totally supported me all the way.
I really believe all these early responsibilities saved my life. Remember that I had poor grades in school. I was a loner. I was sexually abused as a child. If I didn’t have those early responsibilities, I would be a big failure right now. Give your kids responsibilities at an early age.
Give A Small Allowance
Yes, give them a daily allowance to manage. But don’t make it too big. Just enough for their needs. If they want more money, then challenge them to earn it in some way.
If you give them too much money, you might remove the experience of hunger—which is important in creating wealth.
Basic household chores shouldn’t be paid. Stuff like making their beds, or clearing the table, or washing dishes. But you could pay them for doing extra-service—like washing the car or cleaning the bodega or sewing clothes, or cooking a big meal.
(Note: Next month I’ll give you the other 8 Steps … watch out for them!)
May your dreams come true,