Motivation Monday: Tell Your Kids NO
by JillSavage | Feb 20, 2012 | Moms |
I’ve recently become aware of Dr. Meg Meeker and have begun following her blog. Last week, she had an incredible post about giving our kids too much.
Click here to read the post…and then hop back over to my blog to talk about it.
Where do you need to rein it in? Where do you need to tell your kids no?
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I completely agree! My girlfriend said it feels like we are dinosaurs trying to raise our children by keeping them kids and doing what is best for them in today’s world. It so often feels like we are swimming upstream. It’s nice to read these articles and feel confirmed in the decisions I make. I don’t even have a cell phone with texting right now and I would personally love to own a laptop. If I don’t have one, why in the world would I get one for my child?
In our house, our number one goal is to get out of the debt that occurred while I was in college. Our children are small. (One is 3 and I am due in a couple weeks with our second.) My husband and I have decided to pay off debt, make a savings, and be able to take our family on vacations. We want to spend our “extra” money on creating memories with them and not just giving it away to “junk”. No good comes from laptops, video games, etc. I am not saying my boys will never have video games, however, I am saying they will have to earn them/ buy them with their own money. There will be no facebook or social media using, as there is simply no need. I need to know what is going on in their lives because it is my job to keep them safe and raise them to be good men. There is so much pressure on today’s parents, but we have all seen how clearly the world’s views and ideas do not work! When we were able to say “no” to the world and “yes” to God, the vision for our family became much more clear. I only pray that they one day understand, and respect, the decisions their dad and I have made for them.
This is such a tricky one for me. We have reigned it in in so many ways but it constantly feels as if we are the only ones. I kid you not, my son is the only one in his 8th grade class that does not have a phone (believe me we have talked through every one of the 65) and we have held onto that for awhile. We do not have a flat screen or cable and for the most part are the only ones among the people we hang out with that have done that. I am thankful for my sweet sister and her family because it feels like they are the only ones that have similar convictions. My son bought his own iPod touch and now I am trying to figure out how to balance that one. And then we had the discussion about other countries and the “poor among us” and their wants/needs and how the US and where we live is so extravagant in our wants/needs. I am constantly struggling with this issue and feel very alone in my convictions!
I too agree Karen. We are living in such scary times with our children. Our kids are now 22 -college senior, 20 college soph, 17 HS jr, 14 HS fresh, and our 2nd grader from China. I must say we waited it out on cell phones until they really needed them for sports and it was 8th grade for the 4th child. None of the others had them. We also didn’t do the whole X box, Nintendo etc… Our 5th child is the 1st to have a Nintendo DS as she studies well, plays outside alot and could discipline herselt. I know I was thought of as a dinosaur that we didn’t have all the “toys”. They survived and are no worse for the wear. Hang in there!!
just talking about this subject this weekend with a friend. we the generation who had to work for everything are raising a generation of children who feel entitled to work for nothing and we are the ones who are frustrated and burnt out. my language to say i love you is to give. to make your life easier. and i am slowly realizing that is wrong. it is handicapping my kids and me. i need to sit on the urge to give. unsure how to get there. but thanks for the opportunity to explore this topic
I completely agree that the majority of kids have too much “stuff” and I tend to think it started with two income families. Some families require two incomes to make ends meet. Some families want both parents working and that works best for them. But I see that two incomes sometimes leads to guilt about not being w the kids more… And/ or having more discretionary income to spend on the children. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Phones, computers, and video games all have a place in today’s world, but I believe teaching our kids how to use them responsibly is an important part of my job as a parent. And it is difficult to navigate bc so much of this is new for me too. I didn’t have my first computer til after college, and internet just a couple of years ago. Cell phones– just this past year got a phone that texts and accesses internet. It will be a long time before my kids get phones…
We also live without cable, and fancy things. We have had to learn to live with less, as I remain a stay at home mom and my husband lost his full time job 18 months ago. He has 2 part time jobs that are close to what he was making (and even when he was working full time we qualify for medicaid) we no longer have benefits-no health insurance, ect…anyway…I am dealing with imposing some consequences for my sons (ages 6 and 3-and they are within 4 months of their next bdays) for them breaking some of my things. I have removed some “prized possessions” but there is so many other things from them to choose from, is it really sinking in? How do I get all of my wonderfully generous family to not give so much stuff? I have tried to talk them into gift certificates, and money for us to go to places (we live near Chicago a mecca of zoos and museums), but they want to see the kids “open” something?
We do have some extra things, but take the time to carefully evaluate where to go beyond the “necessary” and also make it a point when we do not get or have an “extra” that our kids understand the reasoning behind our decision. I think we are the only house in our neighborhood that does not have a flat screen TV! Ours works just fine, so why would we get a new one? LOL We are a blended family, which makes it three times more difficult to hold to decisions that we think are best, as we are dealing with other parent’s that do not have the same values that we are trying to give our kids. But we do the best we can – but I can tell you it is hard to listen to a child who returns from the other parent’s home with stories of new toys, electronics, and numerous dinners out while there. But I am confident we are making the right choices, I hope one day they will understand.
I completely agree that this generation of kids have way too many gadgets. We are blessed to live in a rural area with a farm across the road. My boys have goats, a dog and a few cats. They have responsiblities, they have chores to do in and out of the house. I am amazed as I help with their classrooms or the scout den that thenumber of kids that have no chores at home. Simple things like laundry getting to the laundry room and putting it away teaches responsibility. I want to make sure that My boys know how to work for what they would like. We started that my oldest received a bike with training wheels, but when he wanted a larger bike, it was up to him. He found ways to earn money and also watched for the bike he wanted to go on sale. They both recently won ipods with a coloring contest, but they are simple ones- no touch here. No big screen, would still use cds and tapes if we could!!! I wish the world won’t require that we move forward with tech if we didn’t want too!
Patting each of you on the back! You are NOT alone. Angela said it well, “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should” – one of my favorite expressions. Flat Screen TV? Not until the current set dies and then it will be a small one to fit in the space the 20″ set fills. So, like the other Susan, I probably have the smallest set on the block. 🙂 I love the old depression & WWII expression “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without.” Keep up the good work ladies. Keep making frugal choices and common sense choices. We are not alone. And our kids will grow up and thank us for living more simply so that we can give more to those who are really in need.
I agree! Thanks for the encouragement Susan!