Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday Tip and letting go of our kids...

Good Morning!  We are supposed to have another beautiful spring day again.  The temperature here in Toledo is going to get to the mid 60's with partly cloudy skies.  Right now it is looking like a lovely sunny day.  Yea!  I love springtime, don't you?
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Copper: To polish copper, rub an ample amount of catsup on the copper and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse off the catsup with hot water and dry to find an incredible shine.
The following is from an email I recently received from the Daily OM and something I believe we all need to remember as parents. 
April 20, 2007
Allowing Our Children To Be
Practicing Nonattachment

Parenting asks us to rise to some of the most difficult challenges this world has to offer, and one of its greatest paradoxes arises around the issue of attachment. On the one hand, successful parenting requires that we love our children, and most of us love in a very attached way. On the other hand, it also requires that we let go of our children at the appropriate times, which means we must practice some level of nonattachment. Many parents find this difficult because we love our children fiercely, more than we will ever love anyone, and this can cause us to overstep our bounds with them as their independence grows. Yet truly loving them requires that we set them free.

Attachment to outcome is perhaps the greatest obstacle on the parenting path, and the one that teaches us the most about the importance of practicing nonattachment. We commonly perceive our children to be extensions of ourselves, imagining that we know what's best for them, but our children are people in their own right with their own paths to follow in this world. They may be called to move in directions we fear, don't respect, or don't understand, yet we must let them go. This letting go happens gradually throughout our lives with our children until we finally honor them as fully grown adults who no longer require our guidance. At this point, it is important that we treat them as peers who may or may not seek our input into their lives. This allows them, and us, to fully realize the greatest gift parents can offer their offspring -independence.

Letting go in any area of life requires a deep trust in the universe, in the overall meaning and purpose of existence. Remembering that there is more to us and our children than meets the eye can help us practice nonattachment, even when we feel overwhelmed by concern and the desire to interfere. We are all souls making our way in the world and making our way, ultimately, back to the same source. This can be our mantra as we let our children go in peace and confidence.

About 15 years ago I did a counted cross-stitch of some vines and butterflies around the following saying:  "Give your children two things, One is roots, the other wings."  It is one of my favorite sayings, because it is so true. 
I truly believe that giving our children roots and wings is our main job as parents.  Teaching them responsibility, giving them a good religious and moral base, good work ethics, even passing on family traditions...that is giving them their roots.  Those roots are what will keep them strong...like a tree.
Giving them a little more freedom as they grow up is what will give them the confidence and strength that they will need to go out on their own.  This is where responsibility will play a big part too.  Both for their personal and financial decisions. 
I, personally, think this is where so many parents have failed so many of todays youth.  I mean, how can young people ever grow up and take responsibility for their own decisions, good or bad, if Mommy and Daddy are always there to "clean up" after them?  If your kids have enough money coming in to live on their own, you can't go and pay their bills when they fall short. 
Sure, you can help them out.  You can sit down with them and teach them about budgeting, show them where they may be making a mistake, but DON'T bail them out.  At least not without setting up a re-payment plan with you and making sure that they pay it back. 
It starts early, if the kids blow all their allowance (I'm a big believer in teaching financial responsibility through allowances.) on candy, or whatever, and then they're $5 short on buying that toy or game that they really want, DON'T buy it for them.  It may seem like just helping them out now, but it isn't teaching them the real consequences of being financially irresponsible. 
I also believe in the theory that allowance is a good way to teach kids about job responsibility.  It isn't just a given.  They don't just get money because they are your kids.  They should have to earn it.  There should be certain chores they have to do to get the money.  Just like in the real world and if they don't do the work (don't show up for work) they don't get paid.
It's also a good time to teach them about savings.  I believe that at least 1/3 of their allowance should automatically go into a savings account.  Although at Rylie's age, all of her money automatically goes into her savings.  Rylie's bithday, Easter and other holiday gifts of money always go into her savings account.  She also helps us make sure that all pop cans go into the recycling trash can.  Then she and I go to the recycling center and ALL that money goes into her bank account. 
We just recently started the recycling thing, but I believe itis going to be a good teaching tool.  Not only about savings but about protecting her future (ie:the planet) too.  So far, our little Rylie (at only 3 years old) has $100 in her account.  Most of that is birthday and holiday money gifts.  I have a feeling that the recycling is really going to help her account grow by leaps and bounds.  On our first trip to the recycling center she got $6 dollars.  I plan on taking some of the money out of her account and putting it into savings bonds for her so she will earn a higher interest on her money.
The next time we go to the bank I'll have to get a picture of Rylie carrying her big ol' piggy bank.  It is always too cute.  Um, of course, there is the part where she always cleans the "pennies" out of her daddy's pockets when he gets home from work, or gets pennies from her aunts and uncles just for being cute.  I'm not quite sure how to explain that to her.  But she sure does fill that piggy up quickyl, lol.
Ahhh, I've gotten off track again.  From an article on Independence to "Roots and Wings" to recycling to penny begging.  How do I manage to do that?  LOL 
If you have any creative ways that you used to teach your kids about responsibility please share them with us. 
Have a beautiful day!
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