In our hyper-consumer culture, collaborating and sharing are revolutionary acts because they slightly erode the need for more. Why buy your own lawn mower if you can borrow one from a close neighbor? Likewise, why should your neighbor buy a snowblower if he can use yours a few times a year?
Encourage sharing at an early age by helping your kids develop strong communication skills, showing them how to make and honor agreements, and teaching them how to be good stewards of what they (and others) own.
Making do with less takes creativity and ingenuity. It’s how the moms and dads of yesteryear stretched meals, made new clothes from old, bartered for goods, and kept life going on what was often a shoestring budget. Foster your children’s imagination with free-form toys, unstructured play, and arts and crafts — anything that gets them moving, thinking, and exploring new ideas.
Knowing how to negotiate on price, payment terms, and extras can save a person thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Teach essential negotiation skills by example; take your kids with you to flea markets, yard sales, and the used car lot — any venue where a bit of friendly haggling is expected. Show them how to use to research to their advantage, develop a rapport with sellers, and be fair but fearless in what they ask for.