Today’s selection from my virtual mailbag comes from a mother who, on the one hand, faces a completely different dilemma, but on the other, is exactly the same in wanting the best for her children.
Dear Mary: My biggest budget cut is fulfilling activities for my four children. We want to stimulate the joy of living by providing opportunities to come into contact with various sports and hobbies.
Now they attend an academically active private school. Each takes piano lessons. Karate for boys, ballet for girls. They are also involved in sports and school theater productions, none of which are free.
We are a single family and I stay home with my kids. Our finances are so tight we end up using credit to get us through the month.
It seems easy to put the kids in public school and drop all the extras, but my mom’s guilt says no. I want the best for my children.
— Tricia, New York
Dear Tricia: The definition of guilt is “remorse arising from a sense of responsibility for having committed some sin.” I don’t think this is about guilt because you haven’t committed any sins.
They are most likely worried that they are failing as parents by not providing their children with experiences and opportunities.
Experts say it is not good for children to be overstimulated by things and activities. can be pushed to the brink of
Going into debt to make all this possible is even more troubling. Be prepared.
Twenty years from now, your worth as a parent will no longer be measured by your children’s activity counts, SAT scores, or trophies. It is measured by the depth of their character, the values they hold dear, and the way they live their lives.
When it comes to schools, public or private, secular or Christian, never assume that teachers will take your place when it comes to imparting values to your children.
Encourage each child to choose one activity and allow enough free time to be just a kid.
As for schools, have you looked into the charter schools available through the public school system? There are many good options out there.
We encourage you to continue to participate regardless of where your child is enrolled. That way you can keep track of everything that’s going on and everything that’s being taught.
Thanks for writing. Nice to hear from you.
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Dear Mary: My daughter is engaged to a man who refuses to find a job.I am 23 and live with my parents.
My daughter pays all her entertainment bills, car bills and insurance. He sleeps until noon, plays computer games all day, and waits for her to pick him up.
She expects me to pay for their wedding.
What do you think?
— Kendra, IL
Dear Kendra: Stand your ground and tell your daughter all the reasons why you cannot support this marriage.
Is there a therapist or family counselor she can talk to? There’s a reason she’s so little happy with her husband and father for her children.
I hope she realizes it before she makes the biggest mistake of her life.
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