My way or the highway
I just read a blog post and it inspired me to write about crap. I just read that back and it sounds bad. Just to clarify, their post wasn’t crap it just inspired me to talk about crap. That is no better is it? Ok, I read http://3bedroombungalow.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/old-school.html and it was a brief post about parenting styles and the art of being able to say no to your kids when they want more toys/sweets or general crap. The post rightly suggested that if they wanted the must have item, the one that they would die without, then they can spend their pocket money on it. This is the pocket money that they have saved after earning it, not being given it, but earning!
So at what age can you start to enforce this new spend as you earn regime. Well, I think 4 seems like a good age, and not too harsh, is it? At age 4 you can converse with your little ones and they have a pretty good grasp of what you are saying. I mean don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you send them up on the roof to clean the gutters, or out to mow the lawn. I am saying that at age 4 there are chores that they can do. They can put their toys away, they can take their plate in to the kitchen, and they can even put rubbish in the bin. The inside bin that is, I don’t mean that you should send them out to the wheelie bin.
These small jobs then get bigger as they do, so the older they get the more responsibility they are given, makes sense doesn’t it?
I think that this is the only way forward. I cannot see any valid argument by parents for just giving and giving. I mean, what is that really teaching your child. Is it preparing them for life? No, it isn’t! Is it teaching them the value of things? No it isn’t. Is it likely that they will end up spoilt and possibly a little useless? Yes, more than likely.
I have just realised that I have turned in to my father, my dad used to spout out all the old clichés at me, some I listened to and some that I didn’t, but maybe should have. He told me that you don’t get anything in this world unless you work hard for it, and whilst this isn’t strictly true for everyone it is a good yard stick to adhere to, hard work = big rewards.
I believe if you want something badly enough then you shouldn’t give up the fight. My Father used to say that, “it wasn’t the size of the dog in a fight, but the size of the fight in the dog”. I think that this may have been a Mark Twain quote, but regardless, I liked it and still do. There of course a few more crackers, again one that my father used and probably stole: Failure isn’t being knocked down, it’s staying down. My dad used to box in his younger days and therefore his sayings used to revolve around fighting. I have found myself quoting some of his pearls of wisdom from time to time, and there are some that I am still waiting for the opportunity to arise to dazzle people with.
Below are a few that I have said:
There are starving children in Africa!
Do you know how lucky you are?
Because I said so!
When I was a boy!
Here are a few that I haven’t used yet:
Don’t make me pull this car over!
If all of your friends jumped off a cliff would you?
Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you!
I recently read a quote from Anne Frank “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” I think that this is great advice as ultimately people will make their own choices and decide their own fate but of course it helps if we teach them well to begin with. Whichever methods and sayings you choose to inspire and teach your children I wish you all the best and remember “It’s not over till the fat lady sings.” Or, in other words…..When mummy and daddy say so.
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