Look, I'm not an expert and I'm not going to present myself as such. Parents are bombarded every day with "expert" opinion on how to raise their children but can I tell you, in my humble opinion, only you, the parent, is the expert. You know yourself, your children, and family dynamic better than anyone. You know what you want for your children and the kind of parent you want to be. Trial and error, yes error, is what will guide your success and create a parent that your children will love and respect as they get older. I know it is difficult to hear that your children are basically a social experiment but it is true. People, and of course children, are unpredictable and how actions and words are perceived by each individual is unpredictable. For example, I was talking to my niece who happens to be visually impaired the other day and she related a story to me about when she was in high school she got a good score on a science exam and the teacher said to the whole class afterwards: "You should be ashamed of yourselves with your scores. (My nieces name is being changed for privacy) Clara outscored all of you and she is virtually blind." Now this was supposed to be a compliment to Clara but she teared up when she told me because she took it to mean that if a blind girl can do well then you sighted people should have done better. Like because she's blind she should have been too stupid to get high marks on a test. Now that isn't at all what the teacher meant but that is how she took it. image courtesy of Nicole Schwartz book with the same name
We live in an age where parents want to give more to their children than their parents did. This phenomenon has been going on for generations, and now we have children that simply have to ask for something and they get it. We are teaching our children that all they need to do to get what they want is just ask. I want a new nerf gun, I want a new iPad, I want a new Lego set, I want a new doll, I want a car, I want..... Is your response to this; "of course, here you go." OR do you talk to them about the cost of things, teach them to save for things, be patient in order to get some of the things they want especially the more expensive items? Do your children have an allowance? If they do, do they spend it all at once? Do they want to go to the Dollar Store, and spend it even though they want something that is more expensive? Do you give them guidance on their spending, and let them know that they can have the small items from Dollar Store OR they can save their allowance and get the latest Star Wars Lego set?
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I'm sure this isn't original but now that I'm a grown adult, and looking back on some of the things my mom kept from my younger years I wish I had more. This got me thinking about time capsules, and creating family time capsules that families can do together.
Time capsules have been made fun of but we are always keeping family memories so why not streamline our memories, and get the whole family involved? I know if my sister and I had made time capsules we would have saved Christmas cassette tapes we made every year with us singing Christmas Carols, and recording our yearly changes in our lives. We did this tradition from when I was in 6th grade until a freshman in college. My sister was 11 years older then I and she had children in those years. It is such a sad thing to report we no longer have those tapes. Tapes with laughter, creativity, swearing due to mess ups, and sheer honesty and love shared between sisters gone. I remember and cherish those times with my sister, and it is sad we no longer have access to those recordings.
Family traditions are important to build bonds between siblings and parents, and it doesn't need to be time consuming. A time capsule is simply a way to keep memories that are important to you. Once a year you can simply take all of the photos, and refrigerator crafts, write the wonderful things your family did the past year and put it in a time capsule. Of course edit some what you put in it, and put in the pictures, crafts and memories that are important. This should be a family decision not just a one parent or both parents; the children should be involved once they are old enough to participate.
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To quote Winnie the Pooh, "Oh bother" a gentle way of saying I'm frustrated, angered, disappointed, etc. Simply put babysitting is a challenge and much different then parenting and teaching. Babysitters need to make a connection with a child immediately while adhering to family rules, keeping children safe, making snap judgements as to safety and what is really allowed by parents and what is not. There are always details missing, and kids will inevitably tell a babysitter that they can do something when they probably can't.
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In my lifetime I've seen so much change in the way money is viewed by children, as well as competition shared within adult and child minds. I don't think the changes have been healthy for our children. I'm actually not sure myself about healthy attitudes about money; but I do think the example of parents in how they treat money, and competition is what will have the most impact on your children.