Four Unhealthy Messages We Send To Our Kids–And The One They Need To Hear

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Sometimes as a parent, it’s important to look at how you parent and give yourself an honest assessment of how you are doing. I came across an excellent article on four types of parenting techniques and the messages they send. I HIGHLY encourage you to read the full article (it’s not long) to get all four, but I wanted to highlight two of the more common parenting approaches that I’ve seen.

The Boss Parent. I think this has been a common parenting technique for many, and truthfully, it’s one I’ve fallen back on as my default parenting mode. The Boss parent allows his or her child to ride bikes, perhaps even bigger than he can handle for his age. But when he meets the grill of the car he hears, “What were you thinking? You know the rules. Follow them. If you don’t listen, one of these days you’re going to get hit, and it’ll be your fault. You need to do better next time.”

The BFF Parent allows the child to bike wherever he wants through town because the backyard might limit his creativity or who he is to become. When he meets the grill of the car in the alley, this parent is writing down every detail the child can remember about the car to hunt down the person who dared drive on that alley while her son was riding his bike. The message the child receives is, “You can do it on your own. You’re amazing. When trouble comes, it’s the world’s fault, not yours. We’ll rescue you.”

According to the article, the one message your child NEEDS to hear is:

“You can explore safely within the boundaries, but when you stray and meet the grill of life, I’m here to help you learn from it. I love you unconditionally for who you are, but I love you enough to not leave you that way.”

I hope you find this as helpful as I did, and please don’t beat yourself up too hard as a parent. We all make mistakes. Just be willing to love your child the best you can, and learn from the times when you might fall short.

Why One Mom Makes Her Daughter Pay Rent

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(photo: www.scarymommy.com)

These days we regularly hear of all kinds of crazy things that young parents are doing to raise their children that make us shake our heads. At first glance, we might just assume the same about THIS STORY. Evidently, this mom by the name of Essence Evans makes her five year old daughter pay rent. “Pay rent” you say, “that’s outrageous!” Before you rush to call social services on this mom, she has a reason…and a very good one at that.

Each week, Essence Evans gives her little daughter $7 in allowance, and then she asks for $5 back for “rent”. After the fee is collected, her daughter is free to do whatever she wants with the leftover two bucks. The best part? The rent that Essence is collecting is actually going into a savings account in her daughter’s name. She plans on giving the money to her daughter on her 18th birthday, so that when she does leave the nest to go pay real rent, she’ll have a nice amount of cash saved up to start off with. How smart is that?

Essence explains in her Facebook post: ” This strategy not only prepares your child for the real world. But when they see how much real bills are they will appreciate you for giving them a huge discount.”

So basically, Essence took the idea of putting away money for her child’s future and turned it into a weekly teaching moment for her daughter. By the time her daughter reaches adulthood, her money management skills are sure to be ahead of the crowd.

I don’t know about you, but I wish I would have thought of that when my kids were little. If you have kids that are young, maybe you can start doing this very soon.

Bravo Essence Evans, you’ve inspired us all!

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(photo: www.izquotes.com)

Why It’s So Important to Step OUT of Your Comfort Zone

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(photo credit: Huffington Post)

As a parent of three teens (ages 16, 14, and 12), I’m long past the days of diapers and terrible twos (and threes), so it’s pretty crazy to hear about how some of the newer moms and dads are raising their kids. Like, I just read an article about a British singer named Stacey Solomon who JUST slept the first night in NINE years without one of her children in her bed. (She also still takes baths with them, but that’s another story altogether.) Let’s stick with the bedtime routine here. Btw, the story is RIGHT HERE if you’re interested.

Point is, this mom has had her oldest sleeping in the bed with her for nine years. Now, that may not seem like alot to you, but to me, it is. And what’s worse, that’s NINE YEARS that this little boy has been kept in his little warm and cozy comfort zone. Admittedly, one of the hardest things to do as a parent is to take our children out of their comfort zone, and let them make mistakes, learn, and grow. But isn’t that the point? Don’t we ALL need to have the freedom to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow? I know I do. Some of THE most rewarding times in my life were times when I stepped out of my comfort zone.

How about the first time I spoke to a crowd using my own material (and not a script). Or the time, I was asked to teach a group of prisoners in Belize while on a mission trip? Those were exhilarating experiences! And that just two examples from the top of my bald head. Each one of those times (and every time I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone), I’ve grown in confidence, ability, and readiness to step out of my comfort zone the NEXT time. I firmly believe that each new and different experience or challenge in life sets us up for the next new experience or challenge. So, if we don’t ever learn to step out of our comfort zones, we never learn to take on new experiences. That leaves us with a life that’s not NEARLY as fulfilling as if we HAD embraced those new, uncomfortable experiences.

I know you don’t want that kind of life for yourself, or for your children. I know I don’t.

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(photo credit: www.smartactors.com)