Jul 302014
English: Shopping carts in ABC Tikkula.

English: Shopping carts in ABC Tikkula. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[Tweet “There can be long-term benefits to changing a child’s short-term economic expectations.”]


When it is difficult to make ends meet there is a particular parental struggle that doesn’t need to exist:  it is not necessary to feel guilty about setting limits on previously over-indulged children.  In fact, even if you haven’t established a precedent of over-indulgence, there’s no need to feel guilty about setting economic limits.  Like any tough situation, this one holds potential for some valuable learning:  there can be long-term benefits to changing a child’s short-term economic expectations.

Of course it can be difficult to say “no” to someone we love – and all parents want to be able to give their kids the best of everything.  But how do we define “the best”?  Can it be in the skills that we introduce and allow them to practice?  How about the benefits of budgeting?

Here are a few:

  • Setting priorities:  What is it they want the most?
  • Money management:  What is the relationship between saving and spending?
  • Planning: What will it take to get it?  What resources to they already have?  Which ones will they need to develop or find?
  • Self-determination: Are they willing to work for it?
  • Research:  Is there a way to get a better price on “the thing”?  Is it ever on sale?  Can it be found second hand?
  • Problem-solving: If they’ve not saved enough money how will they earn more?  Odd jobs?  Yard sale?

Giving your children a chance to learn the benefits of budgeting is a gift that will last far longer than… well… just about anything on their list!



Mar 262014


James Jasper, motor brakeman, and his family e...

(J. Jasper, motor brakeman, and his family eat dinner in their kitchen in home in company housing project. Koppers. Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Haven’t  you ever wished there was ONE single, simple thing that you could do to help your kids be strong and safe?

Most parents worry about how their children will react to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs…. not to mention stressing about grades, higher education and whether or not there’s involvement in some portion of the bullying triangle.

But if there really was one simple action you could take to help your child in ALL of those areas, you’d do it, right?  Of course you would.

It turns out there is such a thing.  It’s called ‘family dinner.’  It turns out that besides building strong bodies dinner together also builds resilience: the skills that make up our ability to bounce back from tough times.  Kids who have those skills tend to make choices that are in their own best interest.   In other words, building ‘bounce back’ helps increase the odds that our children will stay drug-free and stay in school.

In addition, according to drugfree.org, young people whose parents teach them about  risks related to the use of alcohol and other drugs are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not!

Ready for more good news?  There are actions parents can take to influence their children’s resilience: one of  them is having dinner together as a family.  When we know what is happening in our kids’ lives parents are better able to provide leadership, support and guidance.  A few minutes of quality communication each day is a good start.


Want more info like this?  Be sure to check out our Resources for Parents page. (And of course, always feel free to suggest the ones you’d like me to add!)




Enhanced by Zemanta
Feb 012013
School desk

(School desk Photo credit: net_efekt)


Here’s something from my inbox.  A friend sent it.  I have not tracked down the original source… mostly because I really do not want to believe that it is true.  I haven’t been able to throw it away.  There’s part of me that’s not surprised – after all,  some Moms will do anything for their kids!

A young teen gets into enough trouble at school to earn a detention.  When Mom learns about it, she offers to serve her child’s detention as she feels that this would be less damaging to her child than it would be for the child to miss any after school activities.

OK, aside from undermining the school’s disciplinary structure, what is wrong with this picture?

I believe that this Mom has absolutely the best of intentions on behalf of her child.  Clearly, she wants her child to have a variety of enriching extra-curricular experiences.  Unfortunately, Mom may be teaching some lessons that nobody should be learning:

  • Rules do not apply to me, but….
  • If I DO get in trouble, someone else will pay the price.
  • Dessert (extra curricular) is more valuable than dinner.

No parent wants a child to suffer, but it is still hard for me to understand the rationale behind this type of decision.  The sad thing is that lots of parents don’t stop and ask which hurts more – missing some afterschool activities or failing to learn that actions have consequences?  Perhaps even worse, teaching our kids to expect that they live in an impenetrable bubble where nothing ‘bad’ or ‘sad’ will ever touch hem.  Which is more damaging?  You tell me.



Enhanced by Zemanta