Can Good Parenting Save Money?

Posted by idawrites on October 6, 2008 in Children, Family, Money |

I’ve gotten caught up in this trap of wanting to provide more, better, and bigger to my kids. I look back at my childhood and think about all the things and experiences my brothers and I didn’t have, and want things to be different for our children. I’ve never met a parent who hasn’t expressed the same desire.

The problem in this comes when I don’t know how to stick with taking something away from the children. Chores aren’t done? Rules broken? Get caught in a lie? Whatever the unacceptable behavior, I can’t seem to stick with the longer term punishments.

Last week, the children slacked off their chores in a pretty big way. Instead of making sure they felt the pain of their decisions… we loaded them up and took them to Six Flags for Frightfest on Friday night. Then, Saturday morning we all went to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins, have hay rides, eat homemade ice cream, and have lunch at the park. On Sunday, we ended up dropping them off at Six Flags again, just for a little peace and quiet.

Honestly, we’d have saved ourselves over $100 this weekend, just by making sure the children knew that there were consequences to their (in)action. From here on out, I’m doing my children (and my wallet) a favor by implementing some seriously painful restrictions that I STICK WITH whenever they break the rules. As we all know, they need realistic expectations for the real world… and in the real world… if you don’t do what you’re supposed to, you don’t get what you want out of it.

Have you fallen into this trap? Have any tips for helping me stick to it?


  • Emily says:

    You know, this is the part of parenting that really sucks. Knowing there’s something fun for your kids to do, but taking a stand against it because they haven’t pulled their weight. It’s something I bump up against fairly regularly. Factor in a more tolerant hubby, and you ALWAYS come out playing “Bad Cop”. I don’t have any words of inspiration, but I certainly commiserate. Best of luck!

  • Lalena says:

    Ya know, my husband and I got married in 1999, he had 2 children and I had 2 children, and within the first year of being married we had one together. With 5 kids and 2 very different parenting perspectives, he and I finally sat down and came up with a system that made the kids accountable for their actions without us always being the bad guys. Its a point system. All the household chores carry a value and all the fun things in life have a cost, and they can only have as much fun as the amount of work they are willing to put into their lives. I would be happy to send you a copy. We are in the process of having it copyrighted. There is a negotiation to have it printed, but thats a little ways off.
    Anyway, I don’t recommend using it strictly as our method but the idea is to modify it to fit your family.

    Just a thought, but I get tired of always being the bad guy too, its not any fun. And this lets them know right up front what the consequences for their actions are, and what the possible rewards can be.

    Good luck with any strategy you choose… parenting is never easy but its well worth it!

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