National This or That Month – Part II
Just as I promised, here is the second installment of October’s national thisses or thats.
– National Go on a Field Trip Month. Children learn more when they get to see how what they learned in the classroom works in the world. So if you’re trying to teach financial literacy to your kids, why not find places that can reinforce the facts and values you are trying to impart? If your kids are young, you can take them to the bank to open a savings account for them. First, explain why it’s important to save—to be able to afford things you want to buy and to be prepared for emergencies. Explain that the bank pays interest on money you keep there, to help it grow. Call ahead to find out if one of the bank employees can sit down and explain how the bank works, give you a tour, and then you can have your child help you fill out the deposit slip and other paperwork. Kids of all ages might enjoy visiting a local business, especially one that has a factory. It’s fascinating to see how even mundane things, like little wire brushes or gloves, are made. Your local chamber of commerce might know of companies that give such tours.
Field Trip Factory lists educational trips by zip code.
– Positive Attitude Month. Zig Ziglar says that attitude, more than aptitude, affects altitude. You cannot I believe that competence and confidence also affect one’s attitude. And the way to acquire competence and confidence is by setting goals and meeting them. Achieving meaningful goals gives us a sense that we have some control over our lives, which fuels ambition to work hard. Without that sense of control, we feel helpless and hopeless. So this month, the next time your children ask, nag or beg you to buy them something, tell them that instead of buying it for them, you will help them develop a strategy to buy it themselves. If they receive allowance, or engage in some income-producing activities such as babysitting, show them how long it will take to reach their goal if they save 10%, 20% or more of their money each week. You may even want to give them some extra incentives, such as a matching or challenge grant (which I describe in Kids and Money Guide to Learning Capital).
– National Work and Family Month. Working parents with children at home struggle to meet demands at and find balance between home and work. FlexJobs’ latest Flexible Jobs Index finds that medical and health jobs continue to lead the pack with the most flexible job listings among more than 50 fields that FlexJobs analyzes. The top next four sectors that offer open flex-time, freelance, part-time and telecommuting jobs are customer service, administrative, education and training, and sales. If you are looking for a new position, you may want to consider these areas. For parents with children in or just out of college, talk to them about life-work balance, and the potential trade-offs in terms of precious family and leisure time, earnings, promotions, stress, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Field trips, positive attitudes, and life-work balance are all great topics to discuss with your children of just about any age. In fact, let’s make October—and every month—National Families Eating Dinner and Schmoozing at Home Month.