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Millionaire Kids Ezine, Issue #014 -- What the Marshmallow Test Teaches Kids About Money
February 17, 2008

Can Your Kids Pass the Marshmallow Money Test?

In the 1960s, Stanford University psychology researcher Walter Mischel (almost sounds like Mishek, doesn’t it?!) conducted a study.

Mischel placed marshmallows in front of hungry four-year-old children. He told them they could have one marshmallow now, or if they could wait several minutes, they could have two.

Then he watched and waited.

Some children stuffed as many marshmallows into their mouth as they could and quickly ate them. Others waited.

Mischel followed the group and found that 14 years later, the children who eagerly devoured the first marshmallow weren’t faring as well as the children who had waited for two marshmallows.

Years later, the “grabbers” suffered low self-esteem. Teachers and parents viewed these kids as stubborn, prone to envy, and easily frustrated.

The “wait-for-two-fers” possessed better coping skills; were more socially competent, optimistic, self-assertive, dependable and trustworthy; and scored about 210 points higher on their SATs.

Pretty amazing isn’t it?

Maybe there is a connection between wealth and the ability to delay gratification.

Here are 5 lessons you can teach your kids from the marshmallow test...

1) Avoid looking at marshmallows when you’re hungry.

During the marshmallow test, some successful kids reportedly covered their eyes so they couldn’t see the tempting treat.

So skip grocery shopping when you’re hungry –and stay away from the mall when you’re bored.

2) Save a marshmallow today and you’ll eat well tomorrow

The children who waited for the second marshmallow were rewarded with 2 marshmallows.

That’s a 100% return!

Use the power of compounding and save those dollars early. You’ll be rich before you know it.

3) Can’t wait to have that s’more this summer? Smell the sweet smell of chocolaty marshmallows but don’t burn your mouth!

One child reportedly licked the table around the marshmallow while waiting for the experimenter to return.

Imagine going on that Caribbean cruise, but wait until you have both the time and money to go.

If you shop, pay with cash instead of credit. Don’t get burned by finance charges and credit card debt!

4) When roasting your marshmallow, brown it perfectly before it turns into a flaming torch

Some successful children watched their marshmallow to prevent others kids from snatching it.

They waited patiently until the researcher returned with the expected second marshmallow, then enjoyed their reward—without begging greedily for more.

Invest in the stock market for the long haul, monitor your performance, and sell, no matter what, when it drops 25% from the highest price since owning – before the bubble pops.

5) Give your kids mini-marshmallows and teach them how to make rice crispy bars

Some kids handled the wait by turning their back to the marshmallow, singing songs or talking to themselves.

Having a romantic wine and cheese picnic lunch with your husband is just as satisfying (and meaningful) as a $200 dollar expensive dinner.

So what does all this mean?

With practice, your kids can learn how to delay gratification. And odds are they’ll be happier and wealthier.

Teach your kids early how to manage money, let them learn from their own mistakes, and encourage them to develop the right habits.

Remember, practice makes perfect!

Happy Mashmallow Eating!

Random Acts of Tithing

Both my parents and mother-in-law head for sunny Florida to spend the winter.

They're fortunate to be in such good health to be able to enjoy their retirement.

But some elderly aren't so lucky.

Your kids can really brighten someone's day by spending time with those who may be homebound. And it takes less time and effort than you might think.

Profitable Investment Idea:

With the stock market falling like a rock lately, it's difficult to know where to put your hard earned money.

There are always going to be ups and downs in the stock market. But in the long run, stocks outperform all other assets - by a LOT.

So what to do? Try to weather the storm. Sell any stocks that dropped 25% since the highest price since owning.

This will protect your losses until the market bounces back! For profitable niche business ideas, check this website...

Fun Ways to Make Money For Little Kids

Do you hang on to loose change? Or keep pennies in a coffee can?

A great job for your little ones is for them to count the money.

And reward them with a percentage of the take!

It's Good to Know...Financial Terms For Kids

1) Endorse: To sign on the back of a check

2) Bank Account: A checking account and a savings account are examples this

3) Interest: Money charged on an unpaid bill.

Do You Know Whose Picture Is On...

A Ten Dollar Bill?

Answer: Hamilton

Cheap Family Fun

Do your kids like basketball? Football? Or music?

You can see great sporting games, concerts, plays, you name it, right at your local high school.

And it won't cost you an arm and leg. Plus, you'll be showing your support in the community!

Speaking of basket ball, I'll be at a basket ball tournament all week-end. Just call me a gym rat!

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