Category Archives: Grateful

05Sep/16

Happy Labor Day

HAPPY LABOR DAY

Growing up I always found it a little ironic that many people, moms included, need to “labor” on Labor Day.

To our military, safety/emergency personnel, and retail sales workers out there – thank you.  We appreciate what you do. I hope you get a Labor Day off at some point this week, even if it’s not on the official holiday.

If you are one of the fortunate ones that does not need to go out to work today, my wish for you is that you get to spend quality time with your family.  Find fun, EASY things to do so that you are not laboring as much as, or more than, your typical day.

Most kids are not typically cognizant enough to say thank you or to appreciate all you do.

But I am.  I will say THANK YOU for your kids.

Thank you for caring enough to set limits and boundaries, even when it’s hard.

Thank you for providing chores and other responsibilities to help your children learn to be successful adults.

Thank you for following through on things you’ve said you will do, even when you are not sure how you will find the strength to do so.

Thank you for all of the love, hugs, cuddles, and giggles. These fill your child’s heart with your love to hold on to when you are not physically present to do so.

I know how much work it can be raising kids, especially when they are little.

On this Labor Day, take a few moments to think about ways that you can fill your heart.  Find ways to take care of yourself so that you don’t get angry, exhausted, overwhelmed or burnt out.  Your children might not outright appreciate or thank you. In the long run, once they are out on their own, especially if they have children, they will be able to look back and recognize at least some of what you do!

If you need help finding ways to Take Care of the Caretaker (YOU), or setting limits and following through, send me an email and we’ll set up a time to talk (NO charge). 

DrRenee@HelpingParentsParent.com.

14Dec/15

A Bad Case of the “Gimmes”

Does your child have a bad case of the “Gimmes” or the “I-wants”? “Give me this” and “I want that!”

 

Parents often struggle with providing for their children while keeping their child from feeling entitled or falling into the “spoiled” category. Many parents feel like they are earning enough, so why shouldn’t they provide everything for their children? It’s also easy to want for your children what you didn’t have. Watch out and think twice before you provide everything!  Material things end up meaning less if they are easily available.

 

If you want to break the “Gimmes” or “I-wants”, or if you are lucky enough to be reading this when your child is very young and want to prevent these sneaky creatures from entering your home, you need to have a plan. As a parent, you are in charge. You do not need to be mean, but you do need to think about your priorities and teach them to your children. Will you give them everything they need at any time, or only when you feel they need something? What about things they ‘want’ (the $200 pair of jeans, when you can get very nice jeans for $20-30). Will you provide an allowance and ask your child to provide for herself (clothing, activities, outings)?  Will you ask your child to split the cost of the extras (movies, shopping for items that are not needed-just desired, such as his 8th hockey stick)?

 

If allowances or a demand for new things aren’t the problem but you feel like your child has too many things (notice a big mess around the house or things that get ignored for months?), think about having your child clean out his toy box right before the holidays or his birthday. See if you can find a homeless shelter, women’s shelter or another ‘real-life’ place to take your child to donate the old toys.   Help your child understand that these children might not get any toys/clothing if you did not help out. Explain that these children can still be happy and healthy and loved, but their families most likely do not have enough money for fun things or things above and beyond the necessities.

 

And what about shopping trips to the grocery store or for another person’s birthday? As a parent who needs to take a child on a shopping trip, you face extra challenges than someone shopping alone. I’ll be the first to admit to buying a toy from the $1 section on more than one occasion to entertain my child throughout the shopping trip… See my blog on The Joys (not!) of Shopping with Children for more. If you buy your child something on every shopping trip, he will learn to expect it (and the “Gimmes” will be there in full force). If you give in to a tantrum because he wants something you are not willing to buy, he will learn that throwing a tantrum gets him whatever item he wants.

 

Some parents have children keep a list of things they want. Every time a child says “I want” something, they are politely told to write it down on the list. Parents review the list with the child close to birthdays, holidays and special occasions to see if the things on the list are still relevant. If they are, they can be shared with relatives or others interested in buying a gift for your child or the child can be encouraged to save and buy the item with her own money.

It’s not too late to get rid of the case of the “Gimmes” or “I-wants.” If there is something your child really wants, have her earn part of the money to pay for the item. Helping a neighbor or doing extra chores around the house can help a young child earn some spending (or saving) money. This is a good practice even when it’s not around the holiday time!