We are constantly connected and very little patience is needed in getting information, connecting with friends, responding to messages and buying what we want. We can, in fact, often get what we want, and get it when we want it.
Responding immediately to emails and ordering supplies with overnight shipping are great advantages that come with hidden dangers. In this instant gratification world, how do we draw the line between what is okay to do without hard work and what is not?
More to the point, how do we teach our kids that it is okay to order school supplies with a click on the smartphone, but it is not okay to assume that every toy they want will be delivered with overnight shipping? How do we make sure they know how to work hard, earn respect and not feel entitled to money, a good grade, making a team, being hired for a job or being promoted?
Simply telling your child that instant gratification is okay in some contexts but harmful in others, is not enough. It’s hard to understand words that have no personal meaning.
This was a very real concern of mine and I had a constant and nagging worry that I was not raising kids that would be happy and successful adults. I had sent them to good schools and signed them up for the extra lessons and clubs, but nothing taught them to live in our instant gratification world without expecting to always get what they want immediately.
The solution I accidently found was to set up a simple, but consistent, system for my kids to work hard and become hard working, responsible, reliable, independent and financially savvy people, inside the instant gratification world in which we live. And it only takes 10 minutes per week.
When my son was 4 years old, we decided to start a Garbage Can Curbside Service where Joe could pull his neighbors trashcans out and back in on trash day for 25¢ per can.
We were already pulling out our own trashcan, and could easily haul out more cans on the street… but the results of taking this initiative have been amazing.
Read to the end and you’ll also learn what we did with our hard working, responsible, reliable, independent, financially savvy kid and what he’s taught me and my husband about entrepreneurship.
Go here to download the PDF and start reading today!
To learn more about Garbage Man Joe, check out the interviews on Fox & Friends, NewsFix, ABC 13, Huffington Post, Money Saving Mom, Sunny 99.1, WGN Radio, Chron.com, Big Jolly Politics & Waste & Recycling News.