Stay Sane Without Going Broke!

Although parenting is not an easy task, it does not have to be difficult one either. Certain guidelines or rules should be implemented and followed in order for a parent to retain his/her cash and sanity. Children are very impressionable and follow all of our examples, the good ones and the bad ones. It is essential to instill certain values in a child at a young age. We all want to give our children everything we did not have as children and while that my be an admirable desire, it is not always feasible or logical. Not only is giving a child everything they ask for totally irresponsible, it sends a very disturbing message to the child. As adults, we’ve learned that we have to work for the things we want. As adults, we have also learned that “you can’t always get what you want”. We need to ensure that our children learn these valuable lessons, especially in today’s economy. From time to time as a parent, I purchase items for my sons that are somewhat costly, but they have to earn those items. In my home, purchasing expensive video games, consoles or in-style clothing, is contingent upon maintaining good grades, doing chores and showing respect to adults. From time to time, I have to “remind” my youngest son just how fortunate he really is whether or not he has the latest video game. I sometimes tell him that we can eat out a different restaurant every other day, we can purchase all of the latest games and gadgets, but of course we would have no electricity, no cable, no Internet, no water or home. I then emphasize to him the importance of paying the bills first, saving a few dollars and then making a “luxury” purchase, but only if the budget allows us to do so. I have taught my sons that they are very deserving and they should not settle, but they have also been taught to work for what they want. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children the value of a dollar.

As a single parent of two boys and being the neat freak that I am, it was essential for me to teach my boys how to clean up after themselves. Not only was it important to teach them how to clean and maintain organization, as they got older, it took some of the “burden” off of me. Since I like my home kept in a neat and orderly fashion, I had no choice but to teach my sons how to maintain cleanliness and order and why it was important to do so. I make schedules and chore lists. I expect them to follow my instructions and I settle for nothing less. I cannot be an effective parent if I am under “unnecessary stress” and questioning my “own sanity”. The rules are implemented to teach my sons, but also to give me some much needed relief and peace. Most of the lessons they have learned in my home, will help them to achieve their goals in the real world. These days it is so easy to become overwhelmed and to feel “defeated”, but as a parent, you can’t just “throw in the towel”. A parent has to maintain control on so many levels. I am not “friend” to my sons even though we are very close as a family. I am the parent. Many of my friends have become ‘friends” to their children and in my opinion, have forfeited any rights to be authoritative in their own homes. Children need guidance and boundaries in order to function as future adults. When a parent fails to set boundaries and rules for their child, confusion, chaos and stress can result. While there are certain factors in life we cannot control, we can control how well we raise children.

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