In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that we adopt the beliefs of our parents, family, mentors, culture, and environment.
The best parents teach their children good habits that lead to success and the worst parents teach their kids bad habits that lead to poverty.
We don’t have a wealth gap in this country we have a parent gap.
We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality.
Parents and our schools need to work together to instill good daily success habits.
They need to be teaching children specific Rich Habits that lead to success.
Here are some examples:
- Limit TV, social media, video games and cell phone use to no more than one hour a day.
- Require that children read one non-fiction book a week and write a one page summary of what they learned for their parents to review.
- Require children to aerobically exercise 20 – 30 minutes a day.
- Limit junk food to no more than 300 calories a day.
- Teach children to dream and to pursue their dreams. Have them write a script of their ideal, future life.
- Require that children set monthly, annual and long-term goals.
- Require working age children to work or volunteer at least ten hours a week.
- Require that children save at least 25% of their earnings or the monetary gifts they receive.
- Teach children the importance of calling family, friends, teachers, coaches, etc, on their birthday
- Teach children the importance of calling family, friends, teachers, coaches, etc. when anything good or bad happens in their lives. Examples include births, deaths, awards, illnesses, etc.
- Teach children to send thank you cards to individuals who helped them in any way.
- Reassure children that mistakes are good and not bad. Children need to understand that the very foundation of success is built upon the lessons we learn from our mistakes.
- Discipline children when they lose their temper so they understand the consequence of not controlling this very costly emotion. Anger is the most costly emotion. It gets people fired, divorced and destroys relationships.
- Teach children that the pursuit of financial success is a good thing.
- Children need to learn how to manage money. Open up a checking account or savings account for children and force them to use their savings to buy the things they want. This teaches children that they are not entitled to anything. It teaches them that they have to work for the things they want in life, like cell phones, computers, fashionable clothes, video games, etc.
- Require children to participate in at least one non-sports-related extracurricular group at school or outside of school.
- Parents and children need to set aside at least an hour a day to talk to one another. Not on Facebook, not on the cell phone, but face to face. The only quality time is quantity time.
- Teach children how to manage their time. Teach them how to create a daily “to do” list.
They can put their “to-do” list on their bedroom door so parents can check it each day.
Obviously, it is not possible to follow every Rich Habit recommendation listed above.
From Tom’s research, he learned that all it takes is one or two Rich Habits to completely transform a life.
The reading habit, on its own, can set your children up for career success.
The savings habit, on its own, can set your children up to be financially independent.
The exercise habit, on its own, can set your children up for a long, healthy life.
The happy birthday or life event calls, on their own, can set your children up to forge strong relationships.
Pick just two habits to teach you kids and stay on top of them for six months.
After six months the habits should stick.