Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just say "No"

It’s so much easier to tell my kids “no”, when “yes” isn’t a possibility. Being responsible and not giving them too much is being a good parent. It’s just easier if there’s no way I can give them too much. When we lived in Illinois, we lived out in the country because we didn’t expect the huge difference in cost of housing between central Florida and Chicagoland. It was a wonderful setting, a couple acres in a hundred-year-old farm house. But even that cost a lot and being so far out in the country meant you didn’t go shopping until you had to. And eating out? We just didn’t do it. Mike and I were raised in modest households so we really didn’t think much about it.
When we moved to Georgia we found another wonderful place to live – but it was a culture shock. Little House on the Prairie to Beverly Hills 90210. Kids working on family farms and doing chores versus kids having computers in their rooms and getting new cars for their birthday. Learning that eating out isn’t a treat, but a way of life.
It’s easy for me to say those wealthy folks on TV - or around the corner - shouldn’t give their kids so much, but it’s harder for me to do. If I have it, or can get it, I want my children to have it. But when is too much, literally, too much? It takes backbone and clear thinking to deny my kids.
But wait, parenting isn’t about raising kids. I’m in the business of raising adults.
Okay – got it.

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