Monday, August 15, 2011

The Entitlement Trap

When my husband and I were first married, I remember having several (tearful) reality checks with our newly combined budget. I had come from a family that didn't use a budget and I'd never used one myself with my own money. I'd had a job since I was fourteen, but my parents usually covered the "bigger" things such as a car, orthodontia, insurance, and even housing my first year in college. My own money usually went towards clothes and other wants. My experience with delayed gratification was somewhat limited with this set-up and it really shined through when I married my hard-working frugal husband. I remember telling him once that I needed new jeans and he said, "We can't afford new jeans" and I responded, "But I need them." We stared at one another for a second and then my sweet husband introduced me to this novel idea of a budget and showed me how it works.

This is still a struggle for us in some ways, but I have grown A LOT in this department over the last five years. Once we had children, this "but we need it" attitude surfaced again when it came time for a crib, clothes, and all the expensive equipment that comes with a baby. However, we had a solid budget set up and I learned how to use Craig's List and thrift stores to find what I needed. Most of my kids' toys are second hand. Most of their clothes come from Kid to Kid or the clearance section of Old Navy (love that). The only time I buy them something new is on a birthday or for Christmas and even then it's SO difficult not to buy them everything they "need." This continues to be an important and life-changing lesson for me.

That is why I'm highlighting Linda and Richard Eyre's new parenting book called The Entitlement Trap: How to Rescue your child with a New Family System of Earning, Choosing, and Ownership. It is full of tools that help you know how to teach your children the priceless lessons of delayed gratification, responsibility, and perspective. I believe one of the biggest problems facing this generation is this sense of "I deserve this. You owe me this. I should be able to buy whatever I want right now." I desperately want my kids to rise above this mentality and not expect things to be handed to them in life.

I've had the privilege of getting a sneak peek into the first few chapters of this book and in the introduction, the Eyre's explain, "Entitlement is a double-edged sword (or a double-jawed trap) for kids. On one edge it gives kids all that they don’t need—indulgence, dullness, conceit, and laziness; and on the backswing, it takes from them everything they do need—motivation, inde-
pendence, inventiveness, pride, responsibility, and a chance to really work for things and to build their own sense of fulfillment and self-esteem."

This book answers questions such as:
How do I “unspoil” and motivate my kids?
How do I communicate better with them?
How do I teach them responsibility and values?
How do I help them to cope and to thrive financially?
How do I guide them to make good choices and decisions?
How do I protect them and influence them more than the media and their peers?
How do I help them reach their full potential?
How do I combat and overcome their sense of entitlement?
(ET, 26)

The book is filled with ideas of how to develop your own family economy, family laws, mission statements, traditions and identity. I'm so excited to read the entire thing when it's released on September 6th. The Eyre's have asked us "mom bloggers" to spread the word so we can get this book into as many homes as possible. Information about and benefits of pre-ordering can be found here.

On another note, I'll soon be wrapping up this first round of "Letter of the Week" activities as I prepare for Joy School with my four year old. I'm excited to see the curriculum and let you know how it works for our family. I will be focusing my "activity time" ideas on my two year old and my eight month old, continuing with "letter of the week" at a younger level. And of course I'll still add in some older preschooler ideas since my four year old is still at home with me on non-Joy school days! We have a full house around here!
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1 comment :

  1. I haven't heard of this book yet. It sounds great. I love the eyre's books!