The Kids are Alright


“You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.” ~ Meryl Streep

Although my husband and I don’t have children yet, I certainly saw my share of spoiled, entitled kids during my teaching career and the consequences of their parents always giving them what they want. This is a dangerous mentality for a child to possess as the real world is not so accommodating. And it’s a mindset I hope my future children will never have.

In her book, Money Secrets of the Amish, author Lorilee Craker offers some advice to help your children learn the true value of self-control and understand that it’s okay when you don’t get everything you want. Here’s her 6-step de-spoiling plan:

1. Teach them to be content with what they have.

2. Demonstrate how to look for good deals and free forms of entertainment.

3. Help them identify the difference between a want and a need.

4. Say no with some consistency.

5. Promote delayed gratification in your household.

6. Teach them to value hard work and even appreciate it.

What do you do to keep your kids from becoming spoiled?  If your kids are grown, what evidences do you see that the things you did to teach them to be thankful and content have paid off?

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2 thoughts on “The Kids are Alright

  1. greenishmonkeys says:

    Great tips. Some of the things we do that (I really, really hope) help with this:
    teaching the kids rudimentary budgeting (we do a three jar system, for giving away, savings, and spending), have a chore/family responsibility system separate from allowances (it’s just part of being in our family to help out), talk about our budget and model delayed gratification for both big and small purchases.
    We talk a lot about wants and needs, and rights and privileges. I also try to help them get perspective about our US level of wealth, in a way that doesn’t give them a lot of anxiety.

    • TheBudgetMaven says:

      Anne Marie,

      I think sometimes kids will recreate behavior they see over words they hear, so it’s great that you’re modeling for them what it means to be content with what you have and not driven by materialism. I also love that they know they’re expected to help out the family without being paid. Unfortunately, when you become an adult you have to pitch in around the house for free, so they might as well learn that lesson now. 🙂 Between what you’re teaching your kids about sustainability and budgeting, I think they are well on their way to being very conscientious young adults one of these days.

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