I’m Sick Of Hearing It’s For The Kids – Stop Spoiling Them

Stop spoiling the kids.

Ever run across someone that gives their children everything?

All the latest clothes, electronic gadgets, extracurricular activities, lavish weddings, education, you name it they have it.

And then you find out the parents are struggling to keep their heads above water financially.  (Note: the parents aren’t always in financial jeopardy but I find it’s a common theme.)

Not “we’re just getting by.”  No.

I mean one month they don’t pay cable, another month they miss the electric bill; the rent gets paid late; always something and always “it’s for the kids!”

When you talk to these people they take great pride that they provide for their kids.  They insist that their kids have the best even when it’s out of the parent’s means.

The problem though, comes when the kids start to expect a certain lifestyle with nothing in return (read: they’re spoiled).  When you get stuff just for asking without having to work for it then the stuff you get starts to lose value.  That may sound like it doesn’t make sense but it does.  When you keep getting things you don’t worry about what happens to it.  Why should you?  If you break that new toy or lose it you’ll just ask for another one or for whatever else is new out there.  It’s a cycle that builds a certain negative character in a child that they take to their adult life.

Of course the other problem is the parents that can’t afford the lifestyle they are creating for their kids.  It creates debt which creates stress.  And somewhere down the line it has to stop and the child is left wondering what they did wrong that they can’t have their cushy lifestyle anymore.

Here are 6 Excuses/Reasons I’ve Heard Regarding “It’s for the Kids”:

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How to Teach Your Children to Be Financially Responsible

How to teach your kids to be financially responsible.

As parents, we all want what is best for our children.

You may often hear parents boast, “I want my kids to have what I didn’t have.”  We want the next generation to be more successful than we are.

Yet, more and more that’s not happening.

“Johnny” is a 54 year old man who still lives with his parents.  He moved out briefly when he married and had two children, but 8 years into the marriage, he and his wife divorced, and he moved back home with his parents.  That was 20 years ago.  He is unemployed and has been for over a decade.  His parents pay his living expenses.

“Renee” is a 27 year old college graduate.  She went to college at an expensive school to get an art history degree.  She is now paying back over $40,000 in student loan debt.  She’s working at the local coffee shop while she looks for a job in her field, though in her small town, such jobs are nearly non-existent.

Unfortunately, these types of situations are more and more common.  As parents, we want to do everything we can for our kids, but often that turns into enabling, which can lead to the situations above.

A far better response is to teach our children to be financially independent at a young age.

Remember, the earlier you start, the more adaptable your children are.  Consider these strategies below…

Here’s How You Help Your Children Be Financially Responsible

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Free Museum Days From Bank Of America with Museums on Us

Happy penguin at aquarium

Wouldn’t you love to visit more museums?  

What generally holds us back from going out to more museums is time and money.  Let’s face it, not only can it get expensive for a family to go to the museum these days but it can get pretty hectic too (at least it is with our small army of kids).

Still, we try to do what we can to schedule trips out when we can.

That leaves the money part of the equation.

Some years ago, we discovered that Bank of America® actually has a great program called Museums on Us®.  

What is Museums on Us?

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5 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities to Keep the Kids from Being Bored

free inexpenive or free summer activities for kids

Summer is here and children are out of school. 

If your kids are like mine, they count down the days until school ends, and they revel in their newfound freedom — for a week or two.  Then, the inevitable sibling bickering and the whines of “I’m booooored” begin.

By mid-July at the peak of summer when they’re most bored and the temperatures are soaring, things can seem pretty grim.  Parents may begin counting down the days until school is BACK in session.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are plenty of things you and the kids can do to have a fun, educational summer.  (All the better if they don’t realize they’re learning while they’re having fun!)

Best of all, many of these activities are cheap or free!

Here Are 5 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities to Help Occupy Your Kids

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The Best Four Companies and States for Family Leave

The four best states and companies for family leave

In our current environment of wage freezes and increased health care costs, one of the features that can distinguish a good company from a great company is the fringe benefits you receive.

While your wages may remain stagnant, fringe benefits can provide substantial bonuses and savings for your bottom line.

Unfortunately, one benefit that few companies have is a comprehensive family leave plan.

Of course, back in 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Family Medical Leave Act.  This act allows a new parent (either biologically or through adoption) as well as those with sick family members to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave from their job within a 12 month period.  The employee is able to retain health care benefits, and they cannot lose their job.

However, not all companies have to follow the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) such as those with less than 50 employees.   Likewise, if the employee seeking to take FMLA has not worked for the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, the company does not have to grant the employee leave.

With these contingencies on FMLA, many, many employees fall through the cracks and find themselves back at work less than a week after they have a baby because they do not qualify for FMLA or they cannot afford to take an unpaid leave.

However, there are some companies as well as states that go above and beyond and offer their employees or residents better FMLA benefits than required by federal law.

As a working parent, these are the companies that you want to work for or states you want to live in.

Top 4 Companies to Work for With Great FMLA Benefits

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Not Every Baby Is Born Into Royalty But Yours Can Still Prosper

set_child_up_like_royalty

Prince George, or Georgie, as he will be called, was born in July to much fanfare and anticipation. 

What does it mean to be born into the House of Windsor?   Even though he likely won’t exert his political power when he becomes king, he will still be influential.

And he will be worth a pretty penny. 

According to International Business Times, he will inherit 700 million pounds.  There’s no doubt little Prince George is already one of the wealthiest babies in the world.

Of course, not every baby is born into royalty, with the proverbial silver spoon.  Chances are, you probably wouldn’t want that life for your child anyway.

While you may be from modest means, you CAN help your child get a financial advantage over many of his peers by taking important steps when he or she is young.

7 Ways to Set Your Child Up Like Royalty

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Children and Allowance – When to Start and How Much

Long before we enter the working world, wage disparity can occur in the form of allowance.

I don’t remember talking to my friends about how much allowance they made, but I am guessing the subject probably came up.  As a parent, allowance is definitely something to consider carefully.  You don’t want to give your child too much nor too little.

-“This is an emergency!  I need to know all of your allowances!”

-“Why?”

-“Because you are all still friends, even with different allowances!  I have to know how you do it.”

-“Do we get different allowances?”

-“I don’t know, do we?”

From the kids’ show Arthur, in the episode More! where Arthur’s little sister, D.W., is angry she earns less allowance than her friend.

When Should Children Get an Allowance and How Much Should it Be?

Determining the Work to Be Done

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