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Mine! A Tale of Parental Weakness

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 Mine! A Tale of Parental Weakness
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I am sorry to say that my son sometimes gets his way when he shouldn’t. 

This morning was a particularly hard day for me.  It has been one of those days when my threshold for tolerating child drama is terribly low.  My son is in the habit of hoarding all the toys so my daughter doesn’t have any to play with.  Whenever she picks up a new toy, my son says, “Mine!  Give it back!”  My daughter, being a little more congenial at her age than her older brother, will often just smile and give the toy to him.  But if my daughter refuses and my son is disappointed, he often throws a tantrum.  Many times, I will just tell him that your sister is welcome to play with the toy and you should just go back to play with the one you had been playing with prior to you realizing that someone else was playing too.  But there are days like today, when I do not want to fight with my son; and I allow my son to run roughshod over my daughter.  I know it is not right.  I know I am indulging my son; and, I also know that if I do this too much I am teaching my son habits which are not productive in the long term. 

The world frowns on individuals or groups who work to take what others have or to use a “scorched earth” policy to share misery if they are disappointed.  It is horrible to enshrine envy as a virtue, but I believe it is altogether evil to combine it with force.  There are many societal phenomena occurring today that are guided by the misguided and toxic combination of envy and force.  Those who believe in such notions are no better than my 2 year old boy.

Being a parent is hard work.  Some days it is harder to be a parent than other days.  But parenting carries the weight of enormous responsibility.  My daughter has every right to play with the toys that her mother and I provided for both of my children to enjoy.  My son needs to learn that lesson and soon.  But when my son throws a tantrum, I, in a weak moment, am inclined to let him have his way because I want the drama to end—because it is easier.  How often do our leaders give in to the special interest group over the welfare of the larger constituency simply because the leaders want the drama to go away?  This is largely the strategy of these groups.  They know that so many of us will behave just like my daughter who just put up with the poor behavior of others.  Like exasperated parents, who are also concerned about keeping their livelihood, which is subject to the whims of public opinion, our leaders are never encouraged to do what is best.  They are encouraged to do what is easy.  

But we parents do not that the luxury of doing what is easy.  We must be willing to draw a line in the sand—to set a standard for our kids to aspire to.  Will sometimes we fail to reach that standard? Yes. That is the price of high expectations. 

It is our actions as parents which either put our children on the path to prosperous adulthood or on the path of continual, embittered adolescence.

 Mine! A Tale of Parental Weakness
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Asked and Answered: How are Middle Class Americans Going to Survive?

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I ran across this question on LinkedIn and felt I had to respond.

How are middle class Americans supposed to survive these economic times? With high prices on everything, health insurance, gasoline and the salaries not going up as high as they used to, it seems that for the middle class, single parents and other Americans is getting harder and harder to save. How are we supposed to overcome this period?

My response:

Your question contains within it a solution.

If you think about it, what are the things that even the strained middle class, continue to struggle to pay despite the difficulty. Why do people continue to pay for health insurance, food, gasoline, etc. Simply put, these things are valuable to everyone.

Americans live in a freer market than nearly anywhere else of the planet, which means that people spend their money on items which they find to be of value. People who struggle right now are having difficulty in showing their potential customers (including employers) that they are valuable. Every day wealth is being created. Productive energy is constantly creating wealth. This means that money and wealth are NOT dwindling resources. Our task is just to find the ways we can encourage others to share it us. This is only going to happen when we convince those that have or those who make that we are of value to them.

Too many of us walk through life focusing on what we do. We have been paid in the past by doing what we have done, so we think that by continuing to do these things, we will continue to be paid for doing them. But the world is always changing.

Consider the world of tax preparation, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt have been hit very hard by TaxCut and TurboTax. Many people no longer see $100 to $300 of value in tax preparation. They see $0 to $25 of value in these activities due to the prevalence of cheap, easy to use software. The world is changing for all of us and what may have been valuable in the past may be of lessor or no value now and in the future.

Our task is to look inward to see how we can use our own individual strengths, experiences, resources and talents to generate value for others. By marrying that value to a business case, each of us can find personal wealth and prosperity.

 

 Asked and Answered: How are Middle Class Americans Going to Survive?
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