Rich Dad’s Rich Kid, Smart Kid may be the most helpful book ever for guiding adults on how to assist children and teenagers in learning about how to organize their lives to be more successful. I highly recommend this book to every parent, god parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and caring older sibling.
I think this is the best of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, and clearly deserves more than five stars.
Think of this book as the instructor’s guide to teaching Rich Dad, Poor Dad combined with a basic guide to helping young people identify their strengths and learning styles. The book also provides a sound foundation for helping young people build their self-confidence in a healthy way.
Unlike the other books in the series, this one draws on the positive lessons of both Mr. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad and his Poor Dad rather than just the Rich Dad. To overcome Mr. Kiyosaki’s lack of experience as a parent (he has no children), the book relies on important academic and professional research to add context for Mr. Kiyosaki’s observations about his own childhood.
The book begins by citing a recent HEW study that showed that 56 out of 100 people who are 65 need either government or family financial assistance to make ends meet. The book is aimed at providing children with the learning experiences to allow them to avoid that dismal financial result.
Then the perspective shifts to pointing out that the change from an industrial to an information economy has shifted the rules of success in our society. The old rules were to get a good education, get a good job, and have financial security from one employer. The new rules are quite different and feature being in an environment in which one will be a free agent, work in a virtual company, get paid for results, work in many professions, retire early, work only when you are interested in working, learn in seminars rather than classes, focus on your core talents, emphasize developing and implementing new ideas, self-direct your own investments for retirement, and work at home rather than in an office.
To succeed, your child will need at least three basic strategies: one for lifelong learning, one for developing a career, and one for creating financial success.
The book points out that most people will have to relearn the most important areas they work in about every 2-4 years, shift professions as they reach the age at which they become obsolete, and make their money work hard for them.
In the second part of the book, you will learn many basic ways to help your child learn these lessons. He points out the work of Howard Gardner in emphasizing that each of us has different dimensions to the ways our intelligence expresses itself. Find out what your child’s is, praise that, and provide your guiding experiences in terms of that way of learning. In almost all cases, children like to learn through play, playing in the ways they like to play and focusing on subjects that interest them.
In Mr. Kiyosaki’s case, he likes things to be kinesthetic ( touching things and experiencing emotions about them), and he wants to experience them as directly as possible. His Rich Dad appreciated this and put him into situations where his learning style would work. This was the basis of the famous job in the grocery store for ten cents an hour, where he then paid the ten cents an hour to have the privilege of learning. After a while he realized the opportunity to rent and sell the returned comic books for a profit. This allowed him to understand that money is about ideas.
The book then builds up the game of Monopoly as a teaching tool. Through playing the game, Mr. Kiyosaki learned that he needed to buy real estate and develop it to generate an income from investments. His Rich Dad took him along to buy a house that he later rented so he could see what was involved. Then, Mr. Kiyosaki “got it” and was able to follow that lesson to become a millionaire real estate investor on his own.
The appendix by Ms. Lechter has some very good scripts that you can use for taking your children through financial field trips to bring home the message.
The book also offers lots of good advice for supporting your children while they may be having trouble in school. This includes a suggestion for a test they can take to determine their learning style (the Kolbe index). You are also encouraged to find a school that emphasizes the style of learning that your child uses.
On the financial side, the key concepts of Cash Flow Quadrant are greatly simplified so that they can be applied for your child. The book has many exercises you can use to give your child experience in managing her or his money. One of my favorite stories is about a boy who wanted to buy some expensive golf clubs. Be sure to read that one.
Help your child obtain the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional experiences to prosper in the new world of opportunities!