Step Encourage Experiences That Nurture Strong Values Skills and Relationships

The first step to turning off kids' greed is by helping them recognize that having "stuff" does not provide emotional fulfillment. It must be replaced by a central life message: "Who you are is more important than what you have." Of course, merely reciting such lines won't change attitudes. Only through personal example and ongoing experiences that emphasize people over things and values over possessions will kids grasp the concept, and that comes only through your slow, consistent, committed effort. Begin intentionally looking for kinds of experiences that nurture strong values, skills, and relationships. Then encourage your child to try them, followed each time by helping him to see the value of the experience—for example:

"You looked as if you really enjoyed spending the day with Grandpa. He certainly loved being with you. Those are the kind of times you'll remember forever." "Mom really appreciated your hand-made card. It's so much more meaningful than something you buy. Did you see her expression?"

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