Alexina, “You can’t always do the things you want to do with your kids, all the time.” Tip 9
Alexina is my little sister. She’s pure kindness. She is loving, to all, and wants nothing in return. She gives of herself and her time. She is adored! I am very fortunate to share my life with her.
I had so many thoughts after Alexina shared her tips with me. I could see our Mom scattered throughout her words. Many of her tips really struck me. I realize she not only advises these ideas, she practices them.
Tip #9, really spoke to me, so profound. I recall our early parenting years, we could not always afford to do all we wanted with Michael. It’s difficult to say no and is important to remember, you can’t always do everything. Each family has individual financial circumstances, availability, and restrictions. Some children have great access, and others are limited.
As a child, I fell into the “limited” category. Often resources were not available, or made available, to become involved in extra-curricular activities. Sadly, things were not explained. I was left to feel as though my request was a burden, an imposition, an unreasonable demand. How a careful conversation could have helped my confusion.
I, like Alexina, believe regardless of finances, we can all do wonderful things and create beautiful memories. I’ve done it, and Alexina does it all the time. It is the little things. Maybe you can’t do everything, but you can always do something. Alexina always does something.
When Michael was about six, he and I would walk to the corner store. He had $ .50 to buy candy. One day he said, “Why do I only get $ .50 to buy candy?” Before I could give him an answer, he said, “I know, because you want it to be about the walk and not the candy.” (Guess I’m not as tricky as I like to think.)
For those who can’t find their way to “doing something,” at a minimum I hope no Mom blames their kids for asking. Of course, I would never suggest discussing finances or personal struggles with children; however, I do believe some child-appropriate conversation can prevent feelings of insecurity, fear, and even worthlessness – I think.
It’s good for children to know parents need to budget. It’s good for discussion to happen around priorities, and values, when it comes to spending.
Another example is the gumball machines in shopping centres. As those machines seemed to “scream” his name, promise great riches, I didn’t tell Michael I couldn’t afford to spend money there, because even if I had lots of money, I wouldn’t waste it on gumball machines.
Instead, I told Michael, “I don’t waste my money in those machines. Someday, you can decide if you will waste your money on them.” That logical explanation led to no argument, no confusion, and no gum.
It’s not so much what we do, rather how we do it.
So happy to have my little sister’s tips and love. She is for sure one of the best decisions my parents ever made!