If there is one thing that will ruin children’s lives, it’s greed. Teach them how to pull the plug on greed and you will have prepared them to thrive in the real world. –Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt, the “Everyday Cheapskate” offers timely advice, condensed here, on one aspect of character development.

Greed is the feeling of desire, of wanting everything you can think of.

Greed is like a very bad disease. It starts small and if allowed to grow it will take over your life. Greed will make you miserable. It causes temper tantrums and makes people self-centered and arrogant. It is very sneaky.

Children know that twinge of envy when their best friend shows a new phone. Or says really loud at lunch that Dad is buying a new car for their graduation gift. Multiply that feeling by 10 and you’ll have a good idea of what full-blown greed feels like. It is not good.

Greed is hazardous to their futures.

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The problem with greed is that it drives us to do things that are hazardous to our futures. Greed says it is OK to have everything we want now and to figure out how to pay for it later. Greed is something every child has to deal with and the sooner you can show a child how to defeat that enemy the better off and happier the child will be.

The antidote for greed is to be thankful for what you already have.

You prove your gratitude when you are willing to give away part of your resources. Everyone, no matter how young or how poor, has time, talent and possessions.

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When children give to others it helps them to be grateful for what they have.

  • Help a younger child to read.
  • Visit senior citizens at a care facility.
  • Clean up and bring toys you don’t play with to a shelter or hospital.
  • Regularly give part of your allowance to a charitable or religious organization.

If you want to make sure your children are never defeated by greed, show them how to be givers.

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