Talking to kids about money

In light of the current economic turn, have you discussed how to handle money with your children? I was thinking back to when I was younger and that topic of money and the family budget was never discussed. We just always assumed we were rich! Well, at 7 years old in the early 70’s anything over a dollar made you rich! We were never really taught to ‘save’ our money. It wasn’t until I wanted to get married that I really learned how to budget and that was because we had to pay for our own wedding. We had to come up with $18,000.00 on our own. That meant, everything we made went right into our wedding fund. So that got me thinking. Two months ago we sat down with the kids and explained our situation to them. We told that that things were going to change and that they were going to start to see the changes. That meant, no more fast food just because, that meant, no more going to the movies on the first day it opened, that meant, no expensive clothing, that meant, if we went into a store, they would not be leaving with anything other than the food we went in to go and get. It was a lot for them to take in, but they have adjusted beautifully! When we go out, I tell them, the only way they can buy something is if they buy it with their own money.

My oldest who is now 11 saves her money and really puts a lot of thought into whether or not she wants to buy something. Half the time she puts what she ‘thought’ she ‘wanted’ back because then she won’t have as much money. You can totally see the wheels turning when she realizes she won’t have as much money and it really makes me proud to see that she has started to determine a want from a need at such an early age. Perhaps if I was taught that at her age, I wouldn’t be in this situation I am currently in.

My son on the other hand is going to be 8 and he still wants things right then and there. However, he knows that he doesn’t have the money because he can’t save any money over $5.00 without spending it. I am consistent with him and I hope that he too will catch on that you can’t always get what you want when you want it and that you do have to save for things that are important to you. That he too will be able to to determine a want from a need.

My youngest amazes me too! She is going to be 5 and when we go out, she picks up things left and right, holds them through out the store and when it is time to leave, I have told her we are not getting that about 5 times and as we approach the registers she very nicely tells me that maybe Santa can get that for her, to which I reply with a simple, “maybe”.

What have been the conversations like with your children? Are you open with your family budget to a degree that they will understand? We currently have two “Family Fund” jars on our kitchen counter and what ever loose change the kids find laying around, they decide which “Fund” is more important to them and put the money in it to some day be able to go into the store and purchase exactly what they have saved up for. One fund is to redecorate their bathroom (we have a babyish looking bathroom that does need updating now that they are not babies) and they have already picked out what they want to decorate with! The other is for a dinner at our favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse! We love their food and it always costs us an arm and leg when we have been able to go. By saving and working as a family for two things that we ‘want’ to do, it is bringing us closer together and the kids are playing an active role in the family budget and they too have a sense of pride when we reach our goals.

Advertisements

Future Young Hollywood Star?

My oldest daughter wants to be a singer, actress, designer, anything that is in the entertainment or creative areas, she wants to do it. Believe me when I say, she can be whatever she wants. She walks around the house singing all the time and she does have such a beautiful voice for an eleven year old. We wrote an original song but without music it lacks something, so she was covering other singers. Check out this video and tell me honestly what you think…being her mom, I am biased. πŸ™‚

My Little Fishy

My youngest daughter never ceases to amaze me. She learned how to ride a regular bike with no training wheels all by herself in one day at 4.5 years old and now almost 5 (two weeks to go to make that official) she is swimming on her own. She self taught herself! My other two kids took so long to ride a bike and swim that this one just blows me away. Of course, when mom is not physically in the pool she is wearing a life vest and only swims with out one when mom is there to protect her.

The paperwork; it’s overwhelming!

My daughter is entering middle school, aka for us older parents, junior high. When did it change from being called “junior high” to “middle school” is beyond me, but either way the amount of paperwork probably changed as well. Seriously, I have about 30 sheets of ‘registration’ papers to fill out and read. Half of it is so confusing that I will have to make a phone call and speak with a live person to figure out what I have to do to make sure she is enrolled this year. Does she have to take chorus? Why do I need to make out 5 separate checks when they are all made out to the same people? You provide a payment plan, but don’t put anything in the % area. Can I make up my own payment schedule? You don’t have to pay the yearbook fee right now, but it will be the only time you can order a yearbook…so in a round about way, it means, if you want a year book, this is your only chance to get one, so you better pay now or forever hold your peace. You need medical forms filled out by this day, vision forms filled out by another day, dental forms another day…can’t you just say, all doctor, vision, and dental forms must be filled out and returned to the school by this day or your child cannot attend school. We are mailing out registration forms to make it easier for you…for who? If it is like this now and she is only going into “middle school”, I can only imagine the nightmare I am going to have for High School! I feel like I am answering the same questions 30 times! People please…go easy on the forms, the paperwork…do we really need the repetitions? School starts on August 25, pictures are the 26th. No time to get situated at a new school, lets just throw in the photographer right away. Ugh, ok, I better get back to filling out this paperwork that I have buried myself in!

HONORING DADS

Unfortunately, since the start of the economic downturn the Family
Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) has seen a significant increase in the
demand for domestic violence services such as shelters, hot lines and
counseling. Experts say that now more than ever it is important for
parents to learn the tips to prevent relationship and family violence.
Thus, the RESPECT! Campaign www.giverespect.org , a non-profit
to end relationship violence and build strong, healthy families and
communities.

The campaign also honors role model dads and shares the endearing and
memorable ways our fathers teach us love and respect every day. This
Father’s Day, the RESPECT! Campaign www.giverespect.org is
offering several simple ways to thank the dads you know for the great
example they set and ways to Give Respect!

1. Blog about how your dad taught you respect or how you teach
respect to your kids and sparking conversations with your readers about
healthy relationships and setting the right example

2. Learn 10 tips every parent should know to teach children about
healthy relationships. http://www.giverespect.org/respect/families/

3. Give RESPECT! by sending a free Father’s Day e-card; for every
card sent, GBGB Geoffrey Beene Gives Back will make a donation in your
recipients’ name. http://giverespect.org/e-card.html

4. Pass on RESPECT! by joining us on Twitter
www.twitter.com/give_respect , joining the RESPECT! Campaign
group on Facebook http://apps.facebook.com/causes/90680/57903601?m=695af213 and/or adding an “I’m for RESPECT!” graphic http://www.giverespect.org/respect/you/ on your blog

5. Tweet This!
http://twitter.com/home?status=Give+RESPECT!+Send+a+free+Father’s+Day+e
-card+and+for+every+card+sent,+a+donation+from+GBGB+will+be+made+http://
snurl.com/jd7fv

6. Purchase and wear the RESPECT! wrist band, available exclusively
at Macy’s
http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=331793&PseudoCat=se
-xx-xx-xx.esn_results
for $5. Half of all proceeds go directly to the
cause.

7. Make a donation to the FVPF in honor of a dad you respect.

Thanks!
phyllissig

Temper tantrum galore!

A mothers worst nightmare, the temper tantrum. The ultimate worst nightmare? A child having a temper tantrum while out shopping. Yes, that is my ultimate worst nightmare and it actually came true the other day. I swear I thought I was going to have the police show up at the store for having my 4 year old disrupting the patrons of this store. It was awful! I had never been so embarrassed in all of my life! My two other children had their share of tantrums but never to this extreme. She was in consolable, a force to be reckoned with! It all started over a simple Army toy that I would not let her have. It contained a ‘fake’ knife and next to the fake guns, I simply could not allow “this” particular child to have anything that remotely resembled the real thing! So, nicely I said no, she couldn’t have it but could have the other police toy with the badge. That answer was completely unacceptable to this 4 (soon to be 5) year old. That is when it began. She screamed as if someone were killing her, pushed the shopping cart into my stomach and proceeded to drop to the floor and belt out a loud yell. I simply turned to the cashier at this point and said very calmly, “Yay, the first day of summer vacation! Woohoo!!!” and rolled my eyes right back at the woman.

I continued to ignore my child’s behavior to which aggravated her all the more. She got a hold of my ankle, wouldn’t let go and so, I had no other choice but to rip her off my leg and say firmly, “Good-bye, I am leaving”. Of course, natural instincts took over and she ran out the door chasing me all the way to the car trying to hit me in the process. Thinking this wouldn’t end nice, I had my two other children get in the van, shoved all my bags in there too and went to the other side where she was holding the door handles so I couldn’t get in. Once I pryed her hands off, I got her door opened and tried putting her in to which she put up a very good fight. After about a 5 minute struggle, I told my son to hold her while I put the child safety lock on and shoved her in. He did. Both my older daughter and my son were begging this girl to just get in the car as I saw the tears well up into their eyes. She scared them both and it was something I never thought would happen. It nearly brought me to tears. One, because I didn’t know what to do to make her stop screaming and carrying on like she was being tortured, and two, because I saw the fear and sadness in my other two children’s eyes.

With all of us finally inside the van, there she stood for another 15 minutes fighting with me to put her seat belt on. I kept telling her we couldn’t leave until she was seated and buckled, over and over and over again. I just sat there in the drivers seat thinking I was a complete failure! How come my child acted out like this? Was she tired? Did she have a long day? No, she was fine all day long and then bam! She heard the word “No” and she lost it completely! Testing her limits? Probably. Expecting mom to give in like usual? Probably. The last 4 years was I creating a spoiled child, a child that expected to get everything she wanted because she said she wanted it…probably. Have I ever set boundaries for her? Probably not. This is all new to me. I wanted to cry.

I think she finally realized I wasn’t going to back down and she slowly, very slowly (15 minutes later) got herself seated and buckled and we were on the road again. Was my nightmare over? I told her we would talk later after her bath when I can have a little quiet one on one with her. Got home and everything was peaches and cream again. Bath time was over and talk time began. I asked why she behaved that way and she told me that she wanted the one with the thing that you can put the badge in and I didn’t let her have it. I told her it was because it had a knife in it and it wasn’t something I wanted her to play with. She matter of factly said, “Well, we could have given the lady the knife”. Now, yeah, I probably could have taken that out, but she struggled in her decision making until it was too late. I told her that if she talked to me like she is now and she did not yell at me the way she did, I could have done that for her, but she choose to get loud, scream, cry, flop on the floor like a baby seal clasping her arms around my legs and I don’t reward bad behavior so she got nothing. She said “Everyone hates me and everyone is always mean to me”. I asked “Who hates you and is mean to you?” to which she replied, you and my brother. First I heard of it! I calmly told her that I loved her and I could never hate her. I may not like what she does, but I will never ever hate her. I asked her what I had to do to show her that I loved her. She said, “Hug me”. I explained that I do try to hug her and she pushes me away all the time, so I asked if she wanted me to hug her now and she said yes. I snuggled her and she ended up falling asleep to me telling her over and over again that I loved her forever and ever and ever………..

You think it stopped there? Think again! It took an hour to leave the house today because she couldn’t decide on which outfit out of the two I had selected to wear today. Once again, screams, fighting, hitting, kicking doors, you name it, it was done…but I remained calm and cool as a cucumber and stood my ground. She was not going to bully or tantrum her way out of it. OMG, what is a mom to do with a child like this? How to I curb those outbursts? I don’t know how long this will last, but mom can’t take too many more! It was emotionally draining for me! A friend suggested that I have her tested or looked at for a possible sinus problem because it sounded like something her daughter went though and now she is on allergy medicine every day and has never had an outburst like I described since. Is this possible? Something as simple as a sinus problem? How long do I wait this out to see if there is any improvement over time? It scares me to think my child is suffering and can’t vocalize what is wrong. 😦 If anyone out there has been in a similar situation, please let me know how you handled it, what your outcome has been and your advice on getting through this. I certainly could use the input.

I just hope tomorrow is a good day!

Tip of the day…

So you think you want to have another baby, huh? My tip to you…babysit a crying baby for two hours. That will really let you know if you want to do it all over again. Could be a great form of birth control!