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Through the course of my one year experience with my son, I have developed several theories such as the 4N and Power of No to better help me raise my son.
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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Fun with the Tooth Fairy

Posted by Barack Levin on 12th October 2011

My son keeps on losing his teeth and has been getting some money as exchange for his fallen teeth. One night he came to us with a new tooth in his hand and went straight to his room to hide it under his pillow.

The next morning he rushed down the stairs all excited. “Mom, Dad”, he shouted “You will not believe that” and he continues “After I left the tooth under my pillow last night, I checked it again today and you know what I found?” “No” I asked. “I found $5 and an olive”. “An olive?” I asked “Why an olive?” “I do not know. May be it was her snack and she forgot about it. I do not know”.

For the rest of the day he could not stop talking about the tooth fairy and the olive. He told every one he knew and we just kept laughing quietly.

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Walking Wallets

Posted by Barack Levin on 5th May 2011

I have noticed recently that many kids see their parents as no more than walking wallets. Their parents purchase their kids’ love by buying them stuff. It is pretty amazing but it happens everywhere. I went to CVS and saw a mom picking up a prescription. Her 2 year old son brought from the aisle several toy cars. I am sure that these toys were not on her buying list and still when he brought them over and showed them to her, she simply told him to put them on the counter and she paid for them.

Over time, the child will realize that his mom is a walking wallet and his demands will grow larger: new video system, new TV, new PC and so forth.

When it comes to my kids, they already know the answer when it comes to spontaneous purchases. If it is not something that we have discussed in advance but failed to put it to my shopping list, I will get it for them but if it fails to answer this criteria then it is out of the question. They have already learned by now that if I say No, I mean it. There is no reason for them to beg and yell. The answer will still remain No.

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Raising Little Consumers

Posted by Barack Levin on 21st May 2010

“Buy me, buy me!” It seems that kids these days think that money is grown on trees. They want to buy everything they see and our wallets are never deep enough to satisfy their needs. There are many reasons why kids think this way, but I want to focus on one and show that it is us, the parents, who encourage them to act this way.

I went with my son and his friends to an activity center around town. Me and the other moms were sitting and chatting while the kids were running around. Obviously after about 20 minutes of hard play the kids got thirsty and wanted to drink. Not 3 feet away from us we had 2 options. The first one a water fountain attached to the wall behind us (and obviously free to use) and right next to it a fridge with sodas, juices and bottled water. When my son came up to me for a drink I pointed at the water fountain, but except one other kid, all the other kids, accompanied by their moms headed to the fridge. I could have (may be) understand if they decided to buy them juice, but no, they all grabbed bottled waters. I am personally against bottled water anywhere and I try to avoid them like he plague. I do not think they are useful and only damage the environment, but that’s me.  The kids walked away with the bottles and the moms left behind to pay for them.

So what is the lesson here? Parents are conditioning their kids to ask for more things to buy, after all, even when it comes to the very basic items such as water, parents prefer to buy them than using a water fountain. No wonder kids are raised to become little consumers from an early age.

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Kids and Money

Posted by Barack Levin on 6th December 2009

My wife went to a movie with one her girl friend. The other mom is a close friend and her son is a very good friend of our son. After the movie, they went to grab something to eat and naturally the conversation revolved around our kids. The topic this time was about how kids help in the house, and the other mom asked my wife if our kids help with simply household chores such us clearing the table, cleaning their rooms, putting their clothes in their closets as so forth. My wife said yes and asked why, and the other mom said that they are running into a problem with their kid.

Apparently, he did not want to help with the household chores, so their solution was to pay him for doing things around the house. Common household chores got their going bids and this is how they managed to have him involved. However, she added, now they are facing a problem. Now their son asks for money for almost everything. He demands money when he goes to sleep, brushes his teeth, dress up by himself and for almost anything else that he does. Basically, he is extorting them.  

In my mind, giving money to such young kids for helping around the house is a slippery slope. First, as the other mom mentioned, it can create a cascading affect in which the kid now wants money for any insignificant thing he does. Secondly, and most importantly, the parent shave now created an employer-employee situation in the family. Instead of having a family cell that works and plays together, now you have the parents who have the resources, and their little employees who run around to satisfy their parents needs not because they feel part of the family, but because they want money. Basically, the parents are sacrificing family bonds to greed.

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