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8 Ways To Avoid Raising An Entitled And Rude Child

8 Ways To Avoid Raising An Entitled And Rude Child

If you’re looking to raise a child to be a fully-functional adult, there’s definitely a lot to think about. You might love your kids, but sometimes you have to let them hurt themselves, feel the consequences of their actions, and experience failure. As a parent you will ultimately be there to help them when they’re in need, but you also can’t be their personal “catcher in the rye.”

If you want your children to be ready for the real world when their time comes to leave the nest:

1. Limit their access to pleasure

Yes, childhood is the most carefree time in a person’s life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all fun and games. Put a time limit on the computer, phone, or video games, so your children don’t end up wasting time that could have been spent bettering their lives. I’m not saying that children should be doing hard labor, but they should definitely have responsibilities to take care of before they dive into the world of Minecraft for the evening. Give them age appropriate chores, and make sure they complete their homework to the best of their ability before you let them off the hook.

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2. Don’t cover for them or coddle them

Having worked in school settings, I’ve seen way too many parents complain to teachers after their kid comes home with a failing grade. Newsflash: It’s not the teacher’s fault (unless the entire class is failing, which is highly doubtful). Instead of taking your kid’s side when it comes to their responsibilities, make sure you look at what they could be doing better (and what you could be doing better, for that matter).

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay. But by pretending your child is God’s gift to the world, you set them up for true failure later in life.

3. Make them honest about their shortcomings

Parents need to teach their children to take responsibility when they falter, but this doesn’t mean they should just accept failure, either. Too many children think “I’m not a math person,” and in turn don’t work hard to improve their math skills. Don’t let this happen to your children. Teach them the importance of working hard to overcome weaknesses. It’s one thing to do well in something you’re naturally good at, but it’s a much greater accomplishment to succeed in an area you once failed in. Teach your kids that hard work will always pay off in one way or another.

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4. Set allowance strictly

When I was a child, my mother had a system in which a certain amount of my allowance would go toward short-term savings (for smaller toys and games), long-term savings (like a new video game), and serious savings (to be put into a real savings account). That system worked too well for me, as I am now money-conscious to a fault. Teaching your kids to have realistic appreciation for money from a young age is incredibly important. Don’t waver from whatever system you work with, so your children don’t grow up thinking money just shoots out of the ATM whenever you need it.

5. Teach the value of hard work

That allowance shouldn’t come easy. Make sure they know that money is earned by services rendered. Yes, they might hate mowing the lawn in the summer, or shoveling the driveway in the winter, but the sooner they realize they have to work to earn cash, the better off they’ll be. They’ll also enjoy their games and toys much more when they’ve earned them. They will treat their possessions with respect, remembering how hard they had to work to be able to afford them.

6. Be consistent with rules

As a parent, it’s definitely easier to let rules slide “just this once” here and there, especially when you’re busy with work and other obligations. But all this does is create a slippery slope in which your children will constantly be looking for ways to bend the rules. By being inconsistent, children learn that there are times they’ll be able to get away with something. Make sure they know: The rules are the rules, period. And make sure your spouse follows through, as well. Otherwise, your household turns into a 90’s sitcom where the parents start fighting because one was more lenient than the other!

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7. Teach them to be thankful and grateful

Children can be taught to be giving, hospitable individuals from a very young age. Many children who are deemed wise beyond their years simply have parents who have raised them to be caring and giving people. Model courteousness by saying please and thank you to other adults when they hold the door, or helping them write thank you notes to friends who attended their birthday party. Have them pick out toys they no longer use and bring them to shelters for less fortunate children. Children will grow to be conscientious adults if they learn to have perspective from a young age.

8. Don’t always be their best friend

You love your children unconditionally, but you are the adult who has their best interest in mind. By trying to be their friend, you open up a can of worms that is impossible to close. You should definitely let your young child bring out the kid in you, but don’t be “that parent” who lets their kid watch horror movies or play Call of Duty until midnight on a school night (or ever, for that matter). Be there for them at all times, but don’t just let them have their way because you want to be “cool.”

No parent is cool; you should know this by now!

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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