Monday, August 22, 2011

iPhones and Nice Cars

Does this slippery slope sound familiar? I recently heard myself say to a friend, "It's just faster and easier to do it for him." I was referring to something as simple as dressing Trenton. (He has never had much interest in doing it himself.) As I thought about it more, I had to ask myself, what else do I do for him because it's faster and easier? Clean up toys, put clothes away, clear the table... I am in trouble!

I don't do those things alone all the time, and I do have him help here and there, but unfortunately, it is not my first instinct. My oldest child is only three(!), and I can already tell this about myself.

Even before Ryan and I had kids, we knew we wanted to raise children who didn't feel entitled to x-boxes and iPhones and nice cars. They may (and probably will!) want those things, but I hope they won't feel like they deserve them just by virtue of being alive. Ryan's time in Chile and my short time in Zambia cemented that desire in our minds. (How many preteens in sub-Saharan Africa demand an iPhone of their parents?? Um, not many! I want my kids to have a little perspective!)

But I also know that raising children who take ownership for their actions is a tremendous task. So for starters, I've preordered this book and redoubled my efforts to have Trenton contribute more (age appropriate here - I'm not expecting miracles overnight!) at home. If you're interested in this topic too, check out this blog post with a rough draft introduction to the Eyres' book. (By the way, I love that blog. The author, Shawni, inspires me to be a better mother!)'

Those of you with children, especially older ones, feel free to share any tips that have worked for you!


  1. Let me know what you think! I am currently reading one of their older books and it is pretty good. This one sounds like something we're struggling with right now! Good luck and share what you find!!! (please!)

  2. The Eyres write a column for the Deseret News and today they talked about allowances. (check it out!) I honestly had never thought about entitlement in my children, but their columns lately have got me thinking about it. In Ethan's job, he deals with a lot of people who are on government entitlements and we've developed some opinions because of it. I also don't want Soren to feel entitled, and although it is much harder to teach your kids to be responsible and hardworking.

  3. .... it is worth it!

    (didn't realize I didn't finish my sentence...)

  4. I have to have a lot of patience!! When my oldest puts the dishes away he doesn't put them away in the most organized manner, but at least he is doing his "chore". Sometimes picking up their toys can take at least an hour...with me overlooking it. I know I could pick them up in 10 minutes. My reasoning is more selfish for doing this though. It is because I don't want them to feel entitled to something, but it is more because I don't want them thinking I am going to be their maid forever :)We miss you guys!!!

  5. Thanks for the links. I have similar concerns. I watch my siblings with older kids and they are the ones without cell phones "while everyone else has one" and yet I'm sure it would be much easier to keep track of them if they had one!

    Will you blog periodically about things you are learning/things that work? I think this is a really important thing to pass on to your children and I think they will be better people if we're able to teach them this.

  6. I want to hear more about this! Keep me updated because someday soon I'm going to have to teach Henry as well. You're awesome, Ek!

  7. "Tell us how to do it already!" That's what I kept thinking as I read that blog post. So, I'll beg YOU to give us the cliff notes version as you read, pretty pretty please?

    Brad and I talk all the time about how we should actually give LESS choices to Adrie and make sure she is well aware that she is the kid and not in charge. We also plan on no cell phones, etc. Also, I personally think raising a kid who is not entitled, and willing to work hard, means that they really don't like you sometimes. I thought my mom was a very lazy person until my early 20's, when I figured out she was actually a very smart person who made me learn and get in the habit of doing & earning things for myself. I like to think I'll have a strong enough ego to let my kids think poorly of me for a decade or so :)

  8. Hi Erica, Thanks for posting a comment on my blog. It has been a while! Your boys are adorable. So strange how time flies by and babies grow up! I am noticing all those little Notre Dame babies are so big now!!