Children of the 21st century

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      Melissa, my husband and I took a Positive Discipline class (and read

      the book by the same name) when our kids were young, and they told us

      to do EXACTLY what you did. And, yes, it works.

      We give our kids choices, but the choices are limited to what we’re

      willing to offer them. For example, we never said, “Do you want to go

      to bed now?” Instead the choice was, “Do you want to wear the red

      pajamas or the blue pajamas?”

      At mealtime, I always gave the kids “The Cereal Option.” If they

      didn’t want to eat what I put in front of them, they were free to go

      to the kitchen and get themselves a bowl of cereal. No discussion, no

      questions asked, no need for them to complain about my cooking or for

      me to question their choice.

      Sometimes we would worry about fairness to the kids when one of them

      needed something really big, such as a computer. But my sister, who

      is a special ed teacher, explained to me that “Fair means everyone

      gets their needs met, not that everyone gets the same thing.” We’ve

      always told our kids that, and so there hasn’t been jealousy over the

      occasional big purchase because they understand it all evens out over


      I think if we’d given the kids everything they wanted, like some

      families do, we wouldn’t have their college savings set aside–which

      we do! We used one of those state programs for buying credits at

      today’s prices, regardless of what the credits might actually cost in

      the future when the kids use them. Our oldest is a junior in college

      and we have barely had to scratch the surface of that tuition savings

      plan yet. And this on my part-time income and my husband’s civil

      service income!

      I really believe that good parenting and frugality go hand in hand. We

      have an obligation to teach our kids to manage their money. This gets

      harder and harder to do…there was a great article in Saturday’s Wall

      Street Journal about how allowances are being replaced now by the

      parents using credit cards to pay for kids’ ITunes downloads, video

      game online accounts, eBay purchases, etc. So it gets harder to teach

      kids how to handle their money because so much of it is just

      electronic transfers now.

      This is so true with our youngest, who is 14…she rarely handles any

      real money…but we’re helping her write it all down, anyway, so she

      gets used to making a budget on paper even if she doesn’t handle the

      actual cash.

      Well, enough musings from this “old” mom. In some ways, I’m glad I

      didn’t get into the child rearing business until I was in the my

      mid-30s, because it gave me time to establish my own values first.

      Also to make a bunch of my own financial mistakes before I passed them

      on to the next generation LOL!


      — In, “DVICTOR1” wrote:


      > I was tired of everyone looking through the fridge and cabinets

      telling me

      > what they wanted me to fix them for a meal. I finally put my foot

      down. I

      > told them from here on out, the only time they will be ordering

      their meal

      > is when we go to a restaurant! I told them I will put their meal on

      a plate

      > in front of them and that will be their meal. My oldest daughter hates

      > spaghetti so I do have an exception for a peanut butter sandwich if they

      > don’t like what is being fixed.


      > It was amazing how fast they all adapted to it. The whining

      stopped, the

      > nagging for something I would not give them.gone! I wish I had

      thought of

      > doing this sooner.


      > Melissa in OK


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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Children of the 21st century