Mom and daughter

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Set Limits and Boundaries
  • Try to broaden your definition of what it means to love your children. Too often mothers think that if they make their children upset or mad, then they are causing them emotional damage. But parents who set boundaries, limits and structure are more likely to have children who will develop the skills they need to find happiness and stability in life.
  • Learn to say "no" and mean it! And then you must explain why you are saying "no" to your child. This is the golden rule for all parents! It will teach your children about values, so they can start to understand your thinking and reasoning behind the no. If you are a parent who says "no" but doesn't mean it, then you are teaching your child not to respect you and you are not giving them the limits and boundaries they need to navigate this world more effectively. It could show up later on in life with their friends, co-workers and in their intimate relationships.
  • Decide what you want your child to value. And understand that begins with your values and what you believe will cultivate a happy and healthy child. You should want your child to value healthy relationships, good friendships, not "things". Teach them to expand their own world outside of the smallness that it naturally is.
Girl recycling

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Teach Self-Control
  • Get your children involved with something that takes them outside of their own self-centeredness. This will expose your children to the richness of the world, not the richness of "things." Some examples—volunteering to help others or giving back to the planet. This will begin to cultivate soulfulness in our children instead of cultivating an insatiable hunger for "things."
  • Teach your children self-care and care of others. Don't just give them what makes them feel good. Sometimes we try to distract our children from the pain in their lives, but it is critical that they learn what it feels like to experience emotions like sadness, anger and disappointment. All of this is tied into being able to self-control. When children grow up they won't have any idea how to do this if they aren't given limits by their parents when they are young.
Birthday party

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How Much Is Too Much?
  • If they aren't earning it, then it's too much.
  • If your children value the "thing" more than people, then it's too much.
  • If you are trying to make your child happy or soothe them with "things," then it's too much.
Boy watching TV

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Your First Step
The first step is "checking yourself" with an accountability forum. If you are thinking, "I want to get my child a flat screen TV," then go to a group of people whose opinions you value and trust and ask them, "Do you think this is too much?" Or "Do you think this makes sense?" Rely on them to help you guide your decision-making process. 

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