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August 2021 Newspaper: Personal Bank Accounts

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Today I’d like to discuss the “personal bank account.” Life is changing at a rapid pace and today’s youth are dealing with issues that many earlier generations never considered. It can all seem overwhelming for a kid and we hear more and more news stories about school shootings, bullying, prescription drug abuse, and suicide. Is there a way we can help? Can we as adults do more? Yes, of course! Research shows that in addition to their parents, kids need other adults in their lives to whom they can turn for advice and support. (The Search Institute, Developmental Assets). Something you can do is encourage young people to add to their “personal bank accounts.”

The term “personal bank account” is used by Sean Covey in his terrific book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Just like a regular bank account, a personal bank account requires regular deposits in order to grow and withdrawals will draw down your reserve account. Let’s all help youth feel comfortable and confident and encourage them to be happy and healthy. Here is a list of “key deposits” and their respective “withdrawals” as stated in Covey’s book:

Personal Bank Account Deposits                    Personal Bank Account Withdrawals
Keep promises to yourself                              Break personal promises
Do small acts of kindness                               Keep to yourself
Be gentle with yourself                                   Beat yourself up
Be honest                                                       Be dishonest
Renew yourself                                               Wear yourself out
Tap into your talents                                        Neglect your talents

Think of a young person you know who needs a bit added to his personal bank account. It might be your own child or grandchild or maybe it’s a child at church, or a friend’s teenager, or the neighbor’s kid. How could you help him add to his account? What could you say or do today that would help him find the right path? How can you help him overcome depression or find a passion or live more honestly? We are hesitant to “meddle” but maybe we just need to reach out and see what happens.

Good luck and let me know if you are successful. You can reach me at 586-4009 or Our youth need all of us to help them grow into confident, productive adults.

We must be the change we wish to see in this world.” Ghandi

Heather Gordon is the Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development in Jackson County.