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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parenting Panel (Meeting)

We asked our Mentor moms to share their mothering experiences with us in a more formal way at our Carelink meeting yesterday. The topic was parenting and we asked the Mentors to be our panel of experience and share their responses to some of our most asked questions. Let me share a few of the questions and answers with you below.

How did you teach your kids about money? Did you pay for chores? Have an allowance?

We gave our Jr. high/Sr. high kids money each month and that was expected to cover their lunch money (if they didn't want to pack their lunch), entertainment activities, some clothing or anything else that we felt was unnecessary thus making it something they would have to save up to buy. That relieved the number of times where they were coming to us for money for this or that. It also made them consider how they wanted to spend their money and think about budgeting or at least their priorities.

One mom in the group said that she has a list of chores her son can do during the week and turn it in to get paid on Fridays. But in order to get that "extra" money, he must keep track of what he's done by writing it down and bring it to mom on Friday or else it's forfeit. Again, putting the responsibility more on the child than mom & dad.
What I gathered from hearing the mentors speak is that we don't have to choose one way or the other (paying for chores or giving an allowance). We may need to implement a combination of the two approaches. Big picture: we all want our kids to know how to handle money in a responsible way. They need to have some money to begin learning how to budget, to save, to give so that when they are older those principles will be well established. And maybe for now that looks like a small allowance and a little extra pay for taking initiative and helping out with some stuff around the house.

How did you determine which method of education was right for your family: public, private or home schooling?

Home school was not very prevalent when the mentors were raising their children, so most said that the choice was primarily between the public school system or private education.

Remember every child is different and it's worth evaluating every year. Just because you commit to home schooling when Junior enters kindergarten doesn't mean it's the best choice for all his schooling years.

If your children are already in public school and you are considering the home school option, make sure you include your child in those discussions and ultimate decision.

What would you have done differently? I would care less about the little things. Let go of my perfectionism. Let them make a mess in the kitchen.

I was too concerned about the things that don't matter and would have spent more time in the moment.

I would have taken into account differences in personalities when it came to family devotions and the ways in which we shared our faith with our kids to make sure all of them were having the best opportunity to mature in their faith.

I would have planned less and just enjoyed time together.

I would not have returned to work when my children were in school.

I would have read the Bible more with my kids.

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