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Dave Says - Dave Ramsey

The best gift of all: teaching kids how to give

Dear Dave,

What are some ways to teach preteens the value of giving versus getting during the holiday season?

– Phil

Dear Phil,

As a parent, one of the best things you can do is be a living, breathing example of the importance of giving and caring about others. There’s nothing wrong with having some stuff, but many of today’s marketing messages can lead kids to believe it’s all about them. And the sad truth is advertising firms are often more aggressive with their teaching than parents are in theirs.

I would encourage you to find giving experiences in which you can participate as a family. Volunteering for a day at a homeless shelter is a wonderful example of giving that requires absolutely no money. Or maybe you could pull out your wallet, and spend the day shopping for groceries and Christmas gifts for families who are financially less fortunate.

Make sure your kids are involved physically, mentally, and emotionally in the entire giving process. Let them experience the grateful, and sometimes ungrateful, responses that go along with giving. With a little thought and planning, you can create some incredible teaching and family bonding experiences that will change everyone’s lives forever.

– Dave 

Medical and financial trust is a must

Dear Dave,

I have a medical condition, and I finally got an appointment with a specialist I’d like to see. The office requires credit card, debit card, or bank account information be kept on file. Having this kind of information out there with them makes me uncomfortable, but I really want to see this doctor. What should I do?

– Chelsey

Dear Chelsey,

If you’re uncomfortable with this practice having your financial information, then you should also be uncomfortable with any medical opinions they would render. If you don’t feel they’re trustworthy enough to professionally handle something like a debit card or bank account number, then they’re not trustworthy enough to treat you — period.

I hope that wasn’t unclear.

—Dave

Follow Dave on Twitter (@DaveRamsey), or go to daveramsey.com. 

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