Are your kids acting entitled after the Christmas craze?
Mary Hunt, the author of Raising Financially Confident Kids, walks you through how to kick entitlement and irresponsibility to the curb this year and teach your kids that just because they have $3 doesn’t mean they need to spend it on bubble gum and Pokemon cards.
A no-fail plan to help your kids become financially responsible.
How to keep your kids from falling into ugly habits of entitlement and financial irresponsibility.
A step-by-step plan to teach your kids about finances.
Eliminating entitlement and growing gratitude in your kids.
Listen in and find out how you can start the year off with a huge dose of financial responsibility and a heaping dose of gratitude.
When Annemarie was little, she had no interest in her Playskool kitchen with plastic food. She wanted to help us do the real thing: fix our real breakfast in our real kitchen.
We’d set up the step ladder, and she’d climb up and happily measure ingredients and mix pancake batter.
It was a great arrangement. She was fully engaged in meal preparation, and we felt like such great parents, teaching our little girl life skills at an early age!
Then Annemarie became fascinated by the electric skillet.
We warned her that it was “HOT!” That only peeked her curiosity.
We moved it as far out of reach as possible, but if we turned away for a split second, she’d start to climb the counter, one hand outstretched toward the skillet.
We tried everything we could think of to distract her, forbid her, instill a sense of respect in her.
Annemarie’s obsession became an all-out determination to touch the electric skillet.
After many near-misses, we came to the unthinkable conclusion:
Our little girl was going to experience the natural consequences of her curiosity.
The only question was when.
Daniel and I discussed, prayed, and ultimately made one of the hardest choices we’ve ever made as parents: we decided to let her touch it when we were present.
The next morning, we wiped the skillet clean of oil and turned it to the lowest setting. Daniel stood on one side of the ladder; I stood on the other. At a pre-arranged signal, we both acted distracted.
Sure enough, Annemarie’s tiny hands shot toward the electric skillet. Eagerly, she grabbed its sides.
Her triumphant face registered shock quickly followed by pain. She stumbled and, as Daniel caught her, began to cry.
“Hot!” she wailed, pointing to the skillet with reddening fingers. “Hot!”
I dabbed soothing medication on Annemarie’s hands, and we took turns holding and rocking her until she calmed down. After tucking her in bed for a nap, Daniel and I let down our stoic guards and held each other as we cried.
After that experience, whenever we told her that something was “hot” she repeated “hot!” in a voice of respect and gave it wide berth. And her budding fascination with electric outlets completely vanished.
Letting Annemarie touch the electric skillet worked. But two decades later, I still tear up as I tell this story.
I still feel torn between my desire to protect my child from harm and my responsibility to teach her about consequences.[Tweet “I still feel torn between my desire to protect my child from harm and my responsibility to teach her about consequences.”]
I also better understand God’s heart toward me: always wanting to protect me but also letting me experience the consequences of my disobedience:
“So, what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you!
Mind you, don’t despise the discipline of Almighty God!
True, he wounds, but he also dresses the wound;
the same hand that hurts you, heals you.”
What’s a necessary “shocking” parental choice you’ve made or experienced? What was the motivation behind the choice? What were the results?
My bad mom friend and author of today’s Bad Mom Monday challenge is Cheri Gregory. Cheri has been married to her college sweetheart for over a quarter-of-a-century and has two college-aged kids; she blogs about expectations, “baditude,” and hope at www.CheriGregory.com.
So we had my son’s birthday party last week on June 30th. The date is only significant because as I was texting people about the party one mom sent a message back with the following question: “Didn’t he turn 7 back in December?”.
Yes, yes he did. (That was for all you Phineas and Ferb fans out there)
I guess I’m “that” mom. The one who had a TERRIBLE year at work. The one who barely had energy to do laundry and cook, much less plan a party.
The one who loves her children more than her job but found her job taking too much of her time, energy and thoughts.
It’s one of those things that I NEVER thought would happen to me, but it did.
It sounds silly to become so upset about being late with a party but it matters to me – or should I say, to my expectations! I’ve always been the mom who plans parties everyone enjoys and (being honest here) raves about! It’s my little “rocked it baby!” moment and I love seeing my kids have such a good time.
Not giving my son a birthday party with his friends brought a weight of guilt and disappointment that was new and very uncomfortable for me, I felt like such a bad mom!
In order to deal with this awful feeling I decided to just stop and remember what matters most.
I decided my son would not be scarred for life and I was NOT a terrible mom. Instead, I was a mom who was human and just trying my best. I stayed focused on the essentials – what I needed to really make it through.
First I had to be HONEST. I had dropped the ball and for that I apologized to my son. I also explained the situation to him and his response was so sweet and understanding. I think it’s okay for my boys to see me goof and claim responsibility while also promising to make things right!
Next I needed the essential of PERSEPCTIVE. Failing to give him a party felt like a BIG deal but when I stepped back and looked at the big picture I realized that I hadn’t totally failed him. I’d been working hard to make sure I was home to tuck him into bed and able to be at all his games and most importantly, turn off my “work brain” and truly listen to him.
When my perspective is focused on the big picture and I’m able to be honest with myself and accept my blunders I think I become a better woman and a better mom. On those “bad mom” days, I have an opportunity to allow God to come in and fill in the missing pieces of my identity with HIS truth. I want to live my life focused on the essentials and not the extras – I want people to come first, not projects and parties.
Keeping this balance is tough, but it’s so worth the effort. And by the way, my little December baby was able to have a pool party. Complete with leis, sunshine and lots of laughter.
Kasey Johnson is learning daily how to ignore the extras in life and focus on the essentials. As an educator, author, speaker, blogger, wife and mother, Kasey understands the balancing act we sustain as mothers. Her new book and Bible study, Mom Essentials is all about this challenge that every mom is facing.
Summer is almost here and I know that you want to avoid “couch zombie” syndrome! Sure it’s quiet when your kid’s face is in a screen, but I’m pretty sure that the glazed look in his eyes is not a good sign.
Why not have an unplugged, memory-making kind of summer?
I have just the thing to help you have fun with your kids without pulling out your hair. My friend Kimberlee at ThePeacefulMom.com is offering her e-book Summer Sanity: A Mom’s Guide to a Great Summer FREE when you subscribe to her free weekly eNotes filled with ideas to help you save money, get organized and love your life.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
When Annemarie was laid in my arms as a newborn, I felt the fierce “Mama Bear” instinct rise up in me for the very first time.
I was certain that I would defend this precious child against anyone who tried to attack her.
I’d forgotten what sixth grade can do to a girl.
And I had no clue what sixth grade can do to a mom.
Eleven years later, I rip into Annemarie the moment she shuts the car door behind her.
“Mrs. Smith told me how you’ve been manipulating the other girls on the playground.”
My daughter’s eyes widen and brim with tears. But I am a mom on a mission, unmoved by her emotions.
“She’s seen you interrupt two girls playing together, convince one to come with you, and leave the other all alone,” I continue, my voice trembling with shame.
Annemarie’s shoulders slump, and she looks down.
“Mrs. Smith has watched you steal her daughter’s friends over and over, leaving her nobody to play with.”
Hot tears spill down my cheeks as I shout, “I can’t believe that my own daughter is the ‘Mean Girl’ of sixth grade!”
Annemarie turns away from me.
I stew in silence. She’d better be planning how she’s going to apologize to Mrs. Smith’s daughter. We were just starting to get to know each other, and I know we’d be great friends. She’d better not blow my chance to finally develop a new BFF friendship of my own.
At bedtime, I’m still so upset that I refuse to hug and kiss Annemarie goodnight. I spend a sleepless night wondering Where did I go wrong as a mother?
The next day, I head to school to gather data for spin control with Mrs. Smith. If I act fast enough, perhaps this will be just a blip on the radar and our friendship will keep growing.
But as I talk with Annemarie’s teacher, the principal, and other staff members, I discover that I’ve sided far too quickly with my BFF-to-be.
Turns out, she’s practically been stalking my daughter for weeks, spending her volunteer hours watching Annemarie like a hawk. And she’s been pulling my daughter aside for long lectures without talking to the teacher or me.
My Mama Bear instinct finally kicks in, and I tell Mrs. Smith to leave my daughter alone, to bring her concerns directly to me. Her disdainful response makes it clear that all my hopes for friendship have been nothing but wishful fantasies.
Now guilt-ridden, I apologize to Annemarie for siding against her before even hearing her side of the story. We begin the journey of re-building the trust I’ve broken.
The answer to my late-night question – Where did I go wrong as a mother? – is obvious now.
I went wrong at the point where “looking to my own interests” became a higher priority than mothering my daughter.
I’d been so confident in my Mama Bear instincts that I was blind-sided by my own “selfish ambition.”
With humility newly born from failure, I discover an unexpected parenting truth: the Mean Girl my child most needs a Mama Bear’s protection from is me.
And from this Bad Mom Moment I learn the importance of investigating carefully–rather than blindly believing–another parent’s perspective.
Prayer: Lord, open the eyes of my heart when I am blind to the pain my selfishness is causing my child. Help me follow your leadership as I learn and grow as a parent.
Today’s Challenge: My Interests over Mothering
Has there ever been a time in your mothering journey that you chose your interest over your child’s? Is there a situation right now that you need to apologize to your child for mishandling in order to rebuild the relationship? If so, make that positive step with your child today. Admitting we are wrong will go a long way in building trust with our kids. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to apologize to your child but taking it to your Heavenly Father is always appropriate.
My bad mom friend and author of today’s challenge is Cheri Gregory. Cheri has been married to her college sweetheart for over a quarter-of-a-century and has two college-aged kids; she blogs about expectations, “baditude,” and hope at www.CheriGregory.com.
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There are all sorts of ways to do it, but here are three ways you can connect with each of your kids.
Take Your Child on a one-on-one vacation. My friend Kim and her husband had long promised their children that when each of them turned sixteen, he or she would go on an extended vacation. The only rule was that it had to be in the continental U.S. and the kids had to help plan the vacation. Kim found out the best part was learning about the unique personalities each child had.
If a whole vacation does not work, try a weekend or even a one night over night. The overnight part is what is fun and makes it special because it is extended time together.
Take Your Child on a regular date night. Justen and I began this tradition when he was about seven years old, and we still do it now that he is out of high school. About once a month, we choose a night to go out on the town, just the two of us. It may be hamburgers at the local burger joint or it may be going to a museum. The point is to do something fun that you will both enjoy and can talk about in the years to come.
GO SMALL (but SIGNIFICANT)
Connect with your child over small but memorable activities. When Kimberly was eight years old, we started sharing a mother-daughter journal. One night I would tuck it under her pillow and the next night she would tuck it under mine. It was a wonderful way to connect and have a little insight into my daughter’s heart. A friend of mine, Angie, still brushes her daughter’s hair at the end of the day and will talk about their days. Her daughter is thirteen! It is a little thing that has become a special part of the day.
Planning this one on one time takes some time, but it will be worth it knowing that you are investing in a lifetime of memories and really connecting with your child. And to help you with more planning, if you comment on this post and let me know some ways you make your child feel special when you are one one one, you may will a copy of 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids.