Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Character Traits and Little Bamboo Trees

This lesson touched me and caused me (and my husband) to think about how we want to raise our son.  There are obvious things that jump out to us, like loving God and people, being compassionate, strong, well-rounded, and the list goes on.  Since deciding to grow our family, we started thinking about all the things we wanted to instill in our future son or daughter, but never took the time to think about the “how” part.  It is easy for us to say, “I want my son to grow up loving people and loving life,” but puts things in perspective when we start thinking about the “how” part of that equation.  One of our many responsibilities as parents is to instill values, morals, and character traits in our children.  We want our son to be compassionate and caring.  In order to instill that trait, we need to demonstrate love and compassion ourselves.  We need to allow our son to practice compassion by volunteering as a family, working at a soup kitchen, or whatever those activities may be.  If we want our son to grow up loving and serving God, then we need to demonstrate our love for God and teach him as he grows.  It is the “how” part that is often difficult for parents.  As parents, we need to figure out the “how” part to see results in our children.  I hope you enjoy this read from Sharon Jaynes.  She provides thoughts about motherhood, women, and parenting.  If you enjoy this read, you’ll likely enjoy other articles by Sharon Jaynes.  We will never be perfect parents.  By taking time to think about this topic, we will be on our way to being the best parents we can be.         

   

LESSONS FROM THE BAMBOO FARMER

Today’s Truth
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9 NASB).

Friend to Friend
For years I told people that I was in labor for 23 hours. However, the truth is more like 21 years. Being a mother has been the most fulfilling, frustrating, exciting, exhausting, mind-boggling, hair-raising thrilling tiring, stimulating, soul-stirring, delightful, difficult, consuming, laborious, uplifting, inspiring, challenging, captivating, and rewarding job I’ve ever had. Did I mention difficult? I should have gotten a clue when I was told that having a child begins with a word called “labor.”

I’ve had times when I felt like throwing up my hands in frustrations and saying, “I quit!” Is what I’m doing making any difference to anyone? I want results! Show me results!  Then I think about the bamboo tree.

When the Chinese plant bamboo, first they plant the seeds, then water, and fertilize them. The first year, nothing happens. The second year they continue to water and fertilize the seeds, and still nothing happens. The farmer continues this process for a third and fourth year with no visual results. Then sometime during the fifth year, in a period of approximately six weeks, the Chinese bamboo grows ninety feet.

The question is, did it grow ninety feet in six weeks or did it grow ninety feet in five years? The obvious answer is that it grew ninety feet in five years. If the grower hadn’t applied water and fertilizer every year, there would be no bamboo.

It is the same way with raising children. We pour into their lives. We plant seeds of character, pull weeds with discipline, water with prayer, and fertilize with encouraging words. Then one day, if we are persistent and consistent, we will see beautiful results. 

If you are in the midst of raising your children, or even a parent of grown children waiting to see the results, I want to encourage you to press on.  Don’t give up!  Keep praying!  Keep encouraging!  Keep loving! And one day, when you least expect it, your child will “rise up and call you blessed.”

 

Closing Thoughts: How to Get Started and Move Forward

  • Make a list of character traits that you long to see in your child.   
  • What seeds are you planting in his or her heart to produce such a crop?  What are you doing in your life to demonstrate the traits you wish to instill?  Basically, think about the “how” part. 
  • Make a list of glimpses of good fruit that you see budding in your child this week.  Periodically evaluate progress in your children.    
  • Most of all, don’t give up, but rather press on.  Your little bamboo trees will soon grow up to be as beautiful as you imagined.    

Mother’s Day Ideas

It is Wednesday….mid-week….we are on the down hill toward Sunday….which is Mother’s Day!  Dads, are the plans made?  Mom’s have you gotten excited about your special day?  Sons and Daughters, have you been working on that special gift for your mother? 

Mother’s Day is much more meaningful to me this year.  It isn’t more meaningful because I’m a “mother” and get to celebrate, but because I now know how it feels to be a mother.  Emotionally, it is the most wonderful feeling in the world.  My heart has been filled with much more love than I ever thought possible and continues to grow with each day, which also seems impossible.  I now belong to the “it is indescribable, you’ll know when you’re a mother” club.   I love my son more than life itself and could never begin to explain the love I have for him (hence the name of the club).  I’m thrilled to call  myself a member.  To me, Mother’s Day feels like a day more for my son than for me.  I don’t feel as though I need this grand recognition for anything I’ve done during my short time being a mother.  In fact, I don’t want recognition.  The things I do are for my son, not for myself.  My recognition will come when he is 25 and shows me what a great man he’s turned out to be.  The job isn’t easy, but I never asked for it to be.  If my life is busy it is because I choose to be present in my son’s life, as I’m sure you all can relate.  I know my husband is planning something great and I’ll be thankful, but I’m really just looking forward to spending the day with my son.   

If you are looking for a great Mother’s Day gift for your mom, then these ideas may help.  I want to hear about amazing, meaningful, Mother’s Day gifts you’ve either given or received.  I can always use ideas. 

Check out Social Graces post on DIY Concertina Photo Album.   Doesn’t it look fabulous?  It is an easy DIY project.

I recently created a photobook on Shutterfly.  I had a free coupon and had free shipping, so it was free.  I decided that I’d make a book for Kaden, so I turned the photobook into a story book.  You can see the exact book I made here.  I’m biased, but I think it turned out perfect.  Many relatives have seen gushed about the book – a response we didn’t quite expect.  We are going to make story books to give out for Grandparent’s Day this September (if you know Kaden’s grandparents, then shhhhh!).  However, I think it is a great idea for mother’s day as well.  

Click here for gift ideas for mothers in every stage of motherhood – new mom to empty nester.   Some ideas are a little corny, but if you love The Holiday, you’ll appreciate me saying, “some moms are looking for corny in their lives.”  Do you remember a similar line in the movie?  I think I have the entire movie memorized.  Getting back on track,  there are also some really great ideas. 

Tell me something wonderful about your little one(s).  Do you have special gift ideas?

Sorting Out Everyday Stresses

Since having Kaden (who is now 8 months old, woot and tear), I’ve had a few many completely stressed-out moments.  Let me back up a little.  I had Kaden last August and was off work for almost 3 months.  Laundry was always washed, the house was spotless, and dinner was on the table by the time my husband got home from work.  And then I went back to work.  Do I need to go on?  Ok, I’ll go on.  I have a constant pile of laundry, the house is never spotless (pretty clean, but never the way I prefer it to be), and my poor husband has to wait for dinner.  Ok, the last part was a little sarcastic because I’m not a traditional wife who rushes home to cook for the hubby (he’s good with it!).  I have to find time to snuggle with my baby boy, love on my husband, clean the house, shop for groceries, do the laundry, cook meals, and the list goes on….all after working 40 hours a week.  Boy, I need a massage just from typing all of that! 

Being a mom is the most wonderful, rewarding experience we will ever have.  Our hearts are immediately filled with indescribable love; and our stress-level doubles.  Isn’t it worth it though?  Every mom has different stresses in their lives, right?  Please tell me it isn’t just me…:) 

I was stressed to the max a couple of weeks ago, and must have been complaining about the constant mound of laundry quite a bit that week, because my husband asked, “What is so stressful about the laundry?”  He went on to say, “It seems to me that doing laundry would be stress-free.”  He got me thinking…

Yes, the idea and act of doing laundry does seem pretty simple.  So, why does it always stress me out?  I began to examine what specifically about the chore got to me.  I came to a conclusion and found two reasons why “laundry” irked me so much. 

  1. I like my home to be clutter-free and I had mounds of laundry (somewhat of an exaggeration) in several rooms of my house.  My husband and I got in the habit of piling our laundry in the middle of our bathroom floor.  It didn’t matter if I had the laundry caught up and all we had were dirty clothes from that day, there was always a “pile” that I had to look at – a constant reminder every time I went in our bathroom.  My son’s room had its own pile beside his dresser.  I never put a basket in his room because his pile was always pretty small.  Then, we piled dish towels in front of the washer and dryer.  Piles of laundry haunted me every day. 
  2. It took me a long time to sort.  I don’t start a load of laundry until I have a full load.  I’m too conservative with soap and water to wash partial loads.  So, by the time we collected a full load of any one group (whites, colors, Doug’s work clothes, towels), there was a mound of laundry.  It would take me 20 minutes to sort and spray wash before starting the first load for the week.

Ok, I figured out why I hated laundry.  I decided to remedy the problem instead of complaining (internally or externally) week-after-week.  A trip to Wal-Mart and $25 later, my problem was fixed.  Check this out…

(Imagine the heavens opening and shinning a light down with some hallelujah music in the background)

There were only three options at the local Wal-Mart, so I chose the bin above.  However, I’m a little disappointed after looking at the online options here.  I would have selected a more stylish option.  Oh, well.  I love my laundry sorter.  My husband and I can now sort as-we-go.  Once a bin gets full, I load the washer.  I actually have a great formula worked out for those of you with front loaders – put laundry in sorter, squish, put more laundry in sorter, squish, once the sorter gets full (sometime after the second squish), then it is ready to go in the washer.  Very technical, huh?   I put a small basket in my son’s room next to his dresser and a basket in the laundry room for towels.  My laundry pile/sorting problem has been solved, and I can honestly say that I no longer stress over laundry.  My husband helps me fold and put away because he is sweet like that.      

 

The Moral of the Story:

After the long story about my hatred toward laundry and my stress-reducing purchase, I must say there is a moral for all of you.  If you feel stress (let’s all take a moment to laugh at the “if” part of this sentence) then find a way to eliminate or reduce that stress.  Isn’t it amazing how the smallest tasks, like doing laundry, can really top off a stressful week?  If we can eliminate or reduce small areas of stress here and there, then we’ll be on our way to a happier life.  Here is a how-to summary for you:

  1. Examine the areas in your every-day life that cause you stress and bring you down.
  2. Step away from thinking about the task itself and think about what specifically about that task is particularly stressful.
  3. Find solutions to remedy the problem (like buying a laundry sorter).
  4. Implement and de-stress!      

You know you are a mom when the best purchase you made all month year wasn’t your post-pregnancy, I feel great jeans or the handbag you found on sale for 75% off; it was your $25 laundry sorter!   

What seems to stress you out the most?  What remedies do you plan to put in place or have already put in place to de-stress your life?  Please share so that everyone can benefit (I bet we all stress over similar tasks).  I need a quicker way to tackle my bathrooms.  How do professional cleaners do it?  Do you have any tricks?

Mr. Tomato Head Helps Children Eat Veggies

Does the thought of climbing Mount Everest seem like a more manageable task than getting your kids to eat their veggies?  If so, maybe Mr. Tomato Head can help (along with some additional tips). 

Do try this at home:

  • Offer “special treats” and snacks in the form of veggies.  At times, it is the thought of dinner that makes kids automatically put their guard up…they just know there will be something green on their plate.  Mr. Tomato Head will somehow seem more appealing when it appears to be a “special treat.” 
  • Put away (or don’t buy) the junk.  Instead, keep a fruit bowl on the counter and ready-to-eat veggies in the fridge. 
  • Get your kids involved.  Let them pick out recipes they may want to try, let them pick out the veggies from the supermarket or local farmers market, and then let them help cook.  Kids like to help and if they feel a sense of pride in what they’ve made, they’ll want to eat it.  I tried this one year at Thanksgiving.  My niece and nephew wanted to help cook.  I decided to let them help make the broccoli and cauliflower casserole.  I had them cut the veggies and mix them in with the other ingredients.  I think they ate more of that dish than anything else and insisted that everyone try it. 
  • Talk about veggies like they are something to enjoy.  Say things like, “yum, I really like the Zucchini and it is so healthy for us.”  We all know that children pick up on our vibes and especially what we say. 
  • What kid wants to eat a blob of spinach (I don’t even want to eat it)?  Instead, offer variety and have some fun with it!       

(Share your tips and tricks with the group.  We can use all the help we can get!)       

I found these recipes on parents.com.  I’ve only included two, but the article gives 30 Kid-Friendly Fresh Veggie Meals.  Check it out for additional, fun recipes to try!

Source: parents.com

Mr. Tomato Head

Hollow out a tomato, saving the top slice. Fill with cooked couscous mix, top with shredded basil, and cover partially with reserved tomato top, as shown. Rest black-olive slices on tomato ledge for eyes. Cut a piece of provolone cheese in the shape of a mouth and place it right on the tomato — it’ll stick.

Source: parents.com

Tasty Tic-Tac-Toe

Peel an eggplant and cut lengthwise into sticks. Toss in a bowl with 1 egg and 1/4 cup milk, then coat with bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Arrange strips like a tic-tac-toe board and fill in with cherry-tomato halves and broccoli.

 

P.S., Don’t forget to take the poll in the right navigation bar.  I’ll take the poll down next week and want your input!

Motherhood: The Hardest Job We’ll Have

I love my readers and I know you read my blog partly because you are looking for an encouraging environment. I’ve experienced the love and support I speak of from many of my readers who I also know in person. I feel it safe to assume that most, if not all, of you are the same way. I’m going to rant a little and hope that this post encourages you to uplift mothers even more than you already do. I apologize for the long post. I hope you’ll read it.

I often linger on parenting websites, because I’m an information junkie. Yesterday, I stumbled across an article that had an eye-catching title, but seemed to lack reliability. In the end, it wasn’t the topic that necessarily bugged me; it was the response from the readers. Being a mother is a hard job – probably the hardest. We are all trying our hardest to be the best mothers we know how to be (there are always exceptions to the rules). Not one of us will do a perfect job. We may hit the mark in one area and then slide in another, but in the end we all love our children and attempt to do what is best for them.  My issue is with the competitiveness between mothers and how mothers can be so judgmental and mean to one another. It amazes me how judgmental mothers can be when they themselves feel the pressure and even experience judgment. Why do we tear each other down when we should be encouraging one another?

The article I read discussed breastfeeding and the workplace. Instantly, mothers started going at one another.  I couldn’t believe the lashing I was reading – comments that didn’t even relate to the article. I just wanted to scream, “Why do you do this to one another?” Yes, it has been proven that “breast is best,” and I personally think that mothers should try to breastfeed if they can and for as long as they can. HOWEVER, it doesn’t always work out and it isn’t always an option for some.     

So, what causes this back-and-forth? I think that we are all a little defensive. If you are feeding your baby (with bottle or breast) and someone looks at you, you automatically think the worst; when, in reality, they could be admiring your little cutie (the baby, not your breast!). We try so hard and we torture ourselves to no end because we feel this incredible responsibility to our children. We feel this way because we love our children with our entire selves and feel that everything is a reflection on us as mothers. I admit, it is a heavy load and I’m no exception to the feelings I’m describing here.

To breastfeeding mothers:

  • I commend you on the incredible job you’ve done sticking with it! It is hard, difficult, and often trying. You have pressed on when others have given up and you have done a wonderful job.
  • It is important to remember; others who don’t breastfeed or don’t stick with it as long as you have don’t make those decisions because they don’t care about their children or because they care about themselves more (for the most part, remember there are always exceptions). Walk into the NICU and talk to the premie moms who never had the chance to breastfeed because their milk never came in. There are many, many situations that cause mothers to use formula. After all, there was a reason why formula was created.

To formula feeding moms:

  • I commend you for trying and for sticking with it as long as you could. If you weren’t able to breast feed, then it isn’t the end of the world. There is no doubt that you love your children….even more than you love yourself. You will do so much for your children, beyond nutrition, that will shape a happy, healthy child.
  • Remember to support breastfeeding moms. Imagine what they go through to breastfeed their children for the first year. It isn’t an easy job, and they do deserve some credit. Acknowledging their efforts does not mean you are admitting you did anything wrong.

We make choices every day that impact and shape our children. From what they eat – to how they are raised – to the love and affection they receive. It is a combination of factors that creates well-rounded, healthy, smart children.  There is a laundry list of things you should and shouldn’t do.  You will drive yourself crazy if you stress over every little thing.  Do the best you can.  That is all I can do for my son – the best I can.  I bet our children will turn out to be lovely!   

I’ll end with an enlightening story and then share my experience with breastfeeding.

Story

My husband and I had  just finished eating dinner at Leong’s, a local Chinese restaurant, and I was walking Kaden around to distract him (it was getting close to bedtime and I wouldn’t let him eat my general chicken, remember he is only 7 months). He starts smiling at this little baby, so I walk him over to meet her. Both babies were being very social with their social smiles. I asked the dad how old the baby was. I was very surprised when he said, “11 months.” I would have guessed 11 WEEKS. He immediately started defending her size….we are her foster parents and are in the process of adopting. She was 5 lbs when she was born and was extremely malnourished when we got her. She has grown so much since then, but still can’t sit up or crawl…. I just smiled, because I knew he thought he needed to make his case (as we all do sometimes). I just smiled and said, “She is perfect and I can tell that you have so much love for her. She is lucky to have you as a dad. She’ll catch up before you know it.” He replied, “You have no idea what it means to hear someone say that.”  I could tell they were feeling the, unnecessary, pressure.  

My breastfeeding journey

Some moms (me included) really try everything they can to make breastfeeding work, and it is heartbreaking to us when it doesn’t work out. I did everything I could to breastfeed my son and it was successful for the first 3 months. My son latched on, my milk supply was high, and everything was good. Then, as my son’s digestive system began to develop, he had incredible gas issues. He would cry every night. I would try to play with him and he would just cry. Sometimes he didn’t make a sound. He’d just sit while tears streamed down his face. I spoke to his doctor and a lactation consultant. It broke my heart to watch him suffer so much. My doctor finally told me something that helped. She said, “Yes, breast is best, but if your son can’t play, or interact or bond with you, then the benefits may not outweigh his suffering.” She explained that he needs to play and interact to develop and learn properly. After consulting with his pediatrician, I decided that I would try formula for one week (while continuing to pump so my supply didn’t go down – I was determined to breast feed). Within 24 hours of him being on formula, his tummy troubles went away and he was back to his happy self. I was able to kiss those cute dimples that only surfaced when he smiled. He even laughed for the first time during that week. Still, I kept pumping. I couldn’t allow myself to stop. A week later, I convinced my husband to let me try the breast milk again. I thought that maybe we’d have a different result. Within 24 hours my son was back to crying constantly. I even tried half milk and half formula…I was determined, but that didn’t work either. My husband finally asked me, “is it better to give him breast milk and have him be in that much pain?” He went on to say, “We do have a responsibility to our son, but that goes beyond nutrition. He deserves to be happy.” He also asked, “Don’t you think he’ll develop better if he can actually play and interact with us?” All good points. After a lot of tears, I finally quit pumping. My son is a very happy and healthy 7 month old. His development is advanced (which is another debate b/c I know it is all averages, so let’s say….above the average). He and I also have an incredible bond. I couldn’t imagine a stronger bond between me and my son, but I did put in a lot of Kaden and mommy time to make up for not breastfeeding.

When I first started my son on formula, I’d get a lot of dirty looks (we all get dirty looks, it doesn’t matter what choices you make), and moms would ask, “you aren’t breastfeeding?” in a very judgmental tone. At first, I’d go into my whole explanation as if I had to defend my decisions. After time, I began to examine these judgmental women. One mom (who didn’t even know me) was talking to me about breastfeeding; her young daughter came up and tugged on her shirt. The mom turned around and snapped, “get away from me, can’t you see I’m talking, God, you are so annoying today.” The girl walked away with tears in her eyes. At that moment I realized, yes, breast is best, but it doesn’t, in any way, determine your child’s future. I walked away from that conversation thinking, “I am a great mom and my son doesn’t know how blessed he is.”  After that day, I never questioned my decision.  He is so incredibly happy and I love seeing those dimples as opposed to tears. 

Let’s focus on uplifting and encouraging one another.  We all have hard jobs!  Feel free to share your stories with the group, but remember….this is a place designated for encouragement!

My little cutie with "kiss me" dimples (2 months)

Stressed Out? FOTF can help

Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry that helps build thriving marriages that reflect God’s design, and equips parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.  They discuss many relevant issues and I hope you’ll check out their website.  You can also follow Focus on the Family’s Facebook page

My friend, Sara, suggested a broadcast that I found helpful.  I thought I’d pass it along.

Daily Broadcast 02-15-2011: Author Lysa TerKeurst offers advice to moms who struggle with a sense of failure, encouraging them to relax, relinquish their guilt and rely on God for guidance.

Responsible Little Spenders

Money is powerful.  I didn’t say money IS power.  I said money is powerful.  Money can bring good or evil depending on how it is valued and used.  As parents we have a responsibility to teach our children about every aspect of life – including money and finances.  My husband and I are well aware of this responsibility, and we realize that even the most financially responsible people can misguide their children when it comes to money.

We bought Kaden his first piggy bank a couple weeks ago.  Since that time, Kaden has accumulated nearly $15 – a lot of money for a baby’s piggy bank.   We throw dollars in it here and there, and collect change that falls out of Granddad’s pocket when he comes to visit – losers weepers!

The other day I suggested we take money from his piggy bank and add it to his savings account once he accumulates $50 or more.  That suggestion started a debate on money, the value of money, and how we will teach our son.  My husband thinks that he should save in his piggy bank and not spend a dime until it is time to purchase a car.  My thinking is that he needs to have short-term goals, like a toy or a bike.  A 4 year old can’t comprehend that he’ll want a car when he turns 16.  A 4 year old can’t rationalize and think that far ahead – that was my argument.  My suggestion was to save larger amounts in a savings account that he can’t touch, but to teach him to work for and save small amounts of money, that he can spend periodically, in his piggy bank.  Who is right? Maybe neither of us.  Maybe both of us. (if you are asking me, then he is wrong :)) 

Well, I did a little research for us and for you.  Here are some practical things you can do with your children from ages 4 on to teach them about the value of money.

Age 4: Dollars and Sense
Most four-year-olds can count, recognize letters and numbers; some have even started to read. What better time to introduce the concepts of an allowance, spending and saving? A couple of books, The Berenstain Bears Dollars and Sense and Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, illustrate just how quickly that weekly payout can burn a hole in your pocket if you’re not careful.

Age 7: Amortize Your Cherries
The next time you’re in the supermarket with your kids during cherry season, buy a pound without choking on the price. Then, when your hungry offspring start scarfing down the cherries, point out that they could either eat them all at once and have no more for a long while (with a gentle reminder of the price), or they could eat just a few cherries at a time and enjoy them for several days.  You can also ask your children to help pay for those things they really want out of their allowance. They seem to have a better understanding of the value of money when they’re spending their own.

Age 12: Future Entrepreneur
Encourage your child to start her own business. What better way to understand the ins and outs of cash flow? Some jobs for a 12-year-old include dog-walking, plant & animal care, mother’s helper, gardening and more. You’ll find that kids get more excited about earning money — and saving it for something special — when the enterprise and the earning power is theirs alone.

Age 15-18: Checks and Balances
Take your son or daughter to the bank and have them open their very first checking and savings accounts. Remind them to bring cash or a birthday check to deposit — half in savings and half in checking. And then remind them that when the checking account runs dry, they’ll probably be paying a monthly maintenance fee until they put more money into the account – just a little incentive to spend more thoughtfully.

Age 18 through the College Years: Don’t Pay the Way
It is fine to pay for large expenses if you are able and willing.  However, make sure your son or daughter is responsible for day-to-day items.  Don’t buy their groceries, don’t give them spending money, and don’t pay for clothes or shoes.  Have your son or daughter find a job in the community or on campus.  Make sure they have a checking account and make them responsible for small bills and extracurricular activities.  Part of growing up is making and spending money wisely.  Make sure they are financially responsible before entering the “real world.”

Be an Example
Kids can learn the value of money at pretty much any age. It just takes some thought, a little effort and plenty of credibility. That means we, as mothers, need to practice what we teach. If we expect our children to tread the path of good money sense and fiscal responsibility, then we have to set the example.

  • Teach your child(ren) to live within their means by preventing or minimizing your own debt.
  • If you are overcome with debt then work toward being debt free
  • Communicate about money issues.  You don’t have to have an open book policy with your children, but they  can be familiar with your income vs. financial responsibilities. 
  • If you have savings and extra money at the end of the month, make sure you are demonstrating wise spending decisions.  Don’t go on a shopping spree every month. Communicate that you have X dollars left over.  Communicate that you are saving X amount and spending X amount. Then let your children watch you make wise spending decisions.  Often times, children don’t understand that you are saving 50% of your discretionary income and only spending 50%.  All they see is the spending part, even though you are saving a good portion.  If they see you spending and don’t realize the saving part, then the message is lost. 
  • Let your children watch you and your spouse discuss big purchases.  Do research, take time to decide rather than falling victim to impulse buying, weigh the pros and cons, and ask questions.    

That seems easy, right?  Okay, it may be hard. But the payoff will be a whole generation of kids who know how and when to save and spend.  Don’t even stress about doing everything, just focus on a few, wise monetary decisions – your children will be watching and learning!

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