leafMONEYSMART  07.17

5 Life Lessons for Your Kids and Grandkids

By Barry Garapedian

Reflecting upon my 35 years as a Financial Advisor, I have had the good fortune to work with hundreds of wonderful families, many of whom had fabulous, successful kids and grandkids. How did these kids get so darn good? Years of countless conversations, asking questions to parents about their children, I came up with 5 key attributes that I believe are the basic tools to raising exceptional kids.

Practice going first – This does not mean winning the race. It means, be the first to initiate. It could be a handshake, picking up a piece of trash or raising your hand for a question in class.  Think how you can be helpful first! It could be rushing to open the door for a mom pushing a stroller, or as simple as smiling first at someone passing by. It’s not hard to do! This will differentiate you.Practice going first – This does not mean winning the race. It means, be the first to initiate. It could be a handshake, picking up a piece of trash or raising your hand for a question in class.  Think how you can be helpful first! It could be rushing to open the door for a mom pushing a stroller, or as simple as smiling first at someone passing by. It’s not hard to do! This will differentiate you.

Reliability habits – Trust must be earned as well as demonstrated. Start with these four simple things that my father taught me at a very young age:

1. Show up on time

2. Do what you say

3. Finish what you start

4. Say Please and Thank You

It’s interesting how most adults don’t even consistently do these. Your kids could easily master these. These are basic tenants of respect and you must be consistent with practicing them.

People Skills – This is not simply good manners. It’s the little things that make people memorable & exceptional. It could be being a good listener and not interrupting or learning to carry a good conversation… The rule I learned is about being more interested than interesting. Don’t make it about you; it’s about the other person. Be curious and find out what passions the other person has.

Philanthropy and Service – The bottom line is helping other people who are less advantaged, or even differently advantaged. What are you good at or gifted at and how can you use your gift to help someone else? An absolute must. The art of giving is paid back by how well it makes us feel to do the right thing.

Generosity – I’m not talking about generosity like giving to a charity. I am talking about the art of giving all of oneself all the time. Notice how the people who are the best in the world at what they do, they give more of themselves to their cause. How much you give of yourself is under your control. Be passionate and confident and whatever you do go 100%.

As we all know, life is a confidence game and you must practice confidence as if it were a muscle you work out in a gym, over and over again. If you are having trouble starting any of these, do the ” 5 Second Rule”… Envision a rocket ship lifting off: count backwards 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 → get up and do it! Blastoff! It works. Mel Robbins wrote a whole book on this.

Barry Garapedian,
The Oaks Group
Managing Director
Sports and Entertainment Director
Financial Advisor

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.

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5 Life Lessons for Your Kids and Grandkids
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5 Life Lessons for Your Kids and Grandkids
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Reflecting upon my 35 years as a Financial Advisor, I have had the good fortune to work with hundreds of wonderful families, many of whom had fabulous, successful kids and grandkids.
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