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marc julagay

One families attempt to keep up with themselves

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Family Life

9 Things We Should Get Rid of to Help Our Kids

Child counting money (Shallow DOF)

Kids naturally want what they haven’t earned, especially if we are handing it out for free.

But what we have is an entire generation of young adults who got everything they ever wanted with little or no work; we have a cultural norm and it’s a problem.

Because reality is, life doesn’t give us everything we want. We don’t always get the best jobs or a job at all. We don’t always have someone rescue us when we have a bad day or replace our boss just because we don’t like them. We can’t always have what we want when we want it. We aren’t always rewarded in life.

Here are 9 things we can get rid of to begin eliminating entitlement in our children:

  1. Guilt: Often we give into our kid’s requests out of guilt. We need to stop feeling guilty for not giving our kids everything they want. It’s hard to swallow, but we foster the attitude of entitlement in our homes when we are ruled by a guilty conscience. It’s okay to ask kids to be responsible for what they lose and to require consequences for actions.
  2. Overspending: I think it’s good for our kids to hear us say, “We can’t afford that” Or “We will have to save for it.” Because that’s real life. We don’t have All The Money to Buy All the Things. I’ve known families before who are working multiple jobs to keep kids in extracurricular activities, when honestly, the kids would probably be happier with more family time.
  3. Birthday Party Goody Bag (Mentality)-I’ve been guilty of this like most of us. But, really? We take our kids to parties so they can give a gift, but they take a small one home so they won’t feel bad? It’s not their birthday. This concept of spoiling kids (which usually goes far beyond goody  bags) is temporary fun. It’s okay for them not to be the center of attention.
  4. Making our day-week-month, our world about our kids-Working in the non-profit world has redirected our extra time. We simply can’t center our lives around our children when we are centering our lives around Christ. Child-centered homes don’t help children in the long-run.
  5. The desire to make our children happy (all the time). If you visited my house, you’d find out pretty quickly that someone’s always unhappy. It’s not our job to keep our kids happy. Don’t carry that impossible burden. Typically when our kids are unhappy, it’s because we are standing our ground. And that makes for much healthier kids in the future.
  6. Made Up Awards: You know what I’m talking about. Rewarding everyone who participates in every area only fosters an inflated self esteem. Kids don’t need rewards for every little thing. It’s okay to lose, they learn through failure as much as success.
  7. Fixing all their problems: I don’t like to see my kids struggling. There’s a part of every parent that longs to make things right in their child’s world. But it’s not healthy to create a false reality. You won’t always be there to do so and not only that, if you’re doing it all for your child, why would they need to learn to do it themselves? Fixing all their problems is really only creating more challenges in the future.
  8. Stuff: We could all probably fill a half dozen trash bags with just stuff. Excess. Try it. Bag it up and get your kids to help you and give it to someone who needs it.
  9. Unrealistic Expectations: My girls are always asking for manicures. I didn’t have one until I was married, pregnant and 27 years old. I’m not opposed to the occasional treat, but it’s the attitude of expecting it because you as a parent or others have it. Just because I have an iPhone, doesn’t mean my children will get one. We don’t have to give our kids everything we have. It is okay to make them wait for things in life.

It’s okay to toss these things out. 

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Is Texting Good for Teenagers?

Rounding up the bits and pieces  regarding texting… Maybe there should be a book written about this? Hmn?

Nielsen reported in June that in the first quarter of ’09, teens on average send/receive 2,900 texts a month, up from 2,272 in the fourth quarter of ’08. That’s a 28% increase in texting in just 3 months.

I’ve seen articles that have warned that the advent of texting, with it’s abbreviations (OMG) and word substitutions (gr8), is the harbinger of the end of the English language as we’ve known it.

Now, some educators are saying that texting can be good for teens in terms of language development. Initial research indicated that when it comes to informal essays, kids who use some text-speak outperform kids who don’t. When it comes to formal essays, (perhaps obviously) texting can hurt performance.

I’m thinking the jury is still out on whether texting will end up being good or bad for teens, and that we won’t know the ultimate answer for a very long time.

My question is, does it really matter one way or the other?

Language changes. We don’t speak the King’s English anymore, although there are some who still cling to the King James Bible. I’ve heard my share of KJV-laced prayers in church (“We beseech thee, oh Lord”) but not nearly as much these days.

There will be plenty of English purists who stand watch and will be sure to warn along the way. Even so, will it matter?

I’m confident kids will still be learning proper English in schools for the immediate future.

I won’t be surprised, however, if things change over time. Look at how learning the skill of handwriting has disappeared in school curriculum over the years.

Today’s teenagers are going to text. Texting won’t be going away anytime soon. There might be something else beyond texting as technologies continue to develop, but for now texting is a primary mode of communication.

Back when my generation was moving through adolescence, I don’t remember that writing notes to friends (other than when we were in a class) was popular. We primarily communicated in person or by phone. Were the adults of that time concerned because we had lost the art of note or letter writing? Perhaps there were some. Were adults concerned about our casual verbal communication when they overheard our conversations? Has it made a difference in our lives today? Were we negatively impacted by the lack of writing as a form of communication to our peers? Can anyone now provide a qualitative answer? Does anyone care?

So now, kids are writing to communicate with their peers and adults at an impressively increasing rate. For language purists, it might be not be writing in the mode they would desire, but does it matter?

When teens text they have to think about language. They have to express their thoughts. That cannot be all bad.

If today’s teens are still texting well into their adult years, the English language might just look different than it does today. But, at least they’ll know the language and I’m thinking that they’ll be able to communicate successfully.

However, learning to express ones self is a different issue entirely! That’s where the true breakdown is. You can’t get a read on whether or not someone truly understands what you’re saying on the other side of a text. When you are talking directly with someone, you know right away whether or not you’re communicating.

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