By Jodie Lynn
In today's economy, I see parents working two and three jobs each to buy their kids things that they really don't need. Who is watching and raising their children? Why do parents feel the need to be sure that their kids always have the best and newest items? What are we teaching them? What do I say when I am trying to teach my own kids to go without?
ANSWER FROM READER:
If your kids are young, they probably won't notice having to cut back on buying things. If they are older, just explain the situation and do what you can. My son is 12 and now does chores for the elderly people in our neighborhood. This provides him with spending money and has taught him the value of a dollar. Don't worry about what other people are doing and don't feel guilty. As usual, their kids will be the losers in the end when it comes time to tighten their own budgets as adults. - Randy and Janice P. in Kalamazoo, MI
There are always going to be parents who feel it's necessary to get their children every popular toy or fad accessory. It's a lifestyle that is all over the place, especially among upper middle class families. It's sad that they are motivated by the almighty dollar and even sadder that they run themselves ragged doing anything and everything just to meet these unnecessary choices. Of course, it is much easier for younger children to adjust, since expensive wants and peer pressure haven't really entered the picture for them. Unfortunately, as the kids get older it makes things more difficult for the parents who choose to cut back in various areas. Something you might want to consider is when your children ask for a specific item for a birthday or Christmas gift and it happens to be something you consider frivolous, have them help you save for it. Maybe offer chores around the house or yard that they can handle and encourage them to save their allowance for it. Tell them you will pay for half and they can pay half, if this is feasible. Everyone, old and young, appreciates products and items that they themselves help to pay for. It is usually taken better care of and lasts longer. Later in life they will hopefully be able to apply lessons learned and perhaps be a more money savvy adult when they are grown.
CAN YOU HELP?
My 10-year-old daughter has temper tantrums. She will throw up her arms and walk away screaming when she doesn't get her way, even in the mall. How do I handle these outbursts calmly?
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