Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parenting in These Economic Times

Recently, I experienced every author's dream. A woman recognized me, threw her arms around me, and said, "Your book changed my life!" Before I said a word, she told me that she had an over abundance of children and an inadequate stash of cash. She could not give her children the material possessions that other mothers afforded their offspring. Guilt, jealousy, resentment, and bitterness consumed her and robbed her of joy.

Her change of attitude happened after reading "Two Mothers--One Heart" in my book, "Splashes of Serenity: Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms." In it, I tell the story of two mothers--one is rich and the other is poor. Both mothers share the same heart's concern that their abundance or lack of wealth will have a negative affect on the character development of their daughters.

Serenity arrived in the heart of my new friend when she realized she was not a bad mom because she couldn't give her children the best of everything. All mothers, no matter their stations in life, struggle with the financial implications of raising a family.

In these economic times, let's not focus on what we can't give our children. Instead, let's use our creativity. God gave us an amazing playground to enjoy and it costs nothing.

I asked my facebook friends what was their favorite childhood memory. Their comments were: Sitting in the tree reading a book, peeling apples on the back porch, campfires, visiting grandparents, mom reading to me, sitting on daddy's lap, camping, snowfalls, swinging and pretending to touch the stars. Notice a pattern here? Not one memory has to do with a trip to Disneyworld or owning the hottest toy on the market.

It's the simple things, mom. It's the everyday that is special. Stop putting pressure on yourselves to provide stuff for your kids. All they really want is you. Throw your arms around them and be their greatest fan. That's every child's dream and it will change their lives!

Splashes of serenity--I recommend giving some of that to your child,

Elaine

3 comments:

Terri said...

Great reminder, Elaine! I think my children have been blessed because we haven't had money to get them tons of toys or take fancy vacations. We've tried to bless them in other ways and now that times are tough, nothing has changed for them because our lifestyle has stayed the same.

Sylvia said...

Great post! Needs to be in a book! ;o)
Such good truth! If only those who do have a lot materially could also realize it. So often a kid who has too much and gets everything she wants only becomes a bored and miserable person who never learned to savor the best things. Better not to drown them in all that expensive (but worthless) stuff and give them the free and valuable instead!

Elaine W. Miller said...

Sylvia,

In "Two Mothers--One Heart" the wealthy mother is concerned that wealth will harm her child. It's actually a true story. I'm the poor child and my best childhood friend is the rich child. There house had 8 bathrooms in the 1960's. Her mother was like a second mother to me and she confided in me when I was a teen that she tried very hard not to give her children every material thing even though she could afford to. Her daughter, my best friend, grew up unspoiled and active in contributing to those less fortunate.

Thanks for the compliment on the post. Have you read my books? BTW, I tried to comment on your blog and I couldn't get through. Sorry.

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