Excerpt from: Lean Body Fat Wallet
Discover the Powerful Connection to Help You
Lose Weight, Dump Debt, and Save Money
By Danna Demetre and Ellie Kay
(Thomas Nelson – Dec. 10, 2013)
Pg. 175 – 177
Chapter 10 – Raising Fit and Frugal Kids
Help your children become physically and financially mature adults by practicing key habits you model and teach them to follow.
If you’re a parent, you want the best for your children. You want them to be healthy, safe, and secure. You also want to instill values and habits that will help them develop lifestyles as they become young adults that enhance the quality of their lives and grow into responsible citizens. Between us (Ellie and Danna), we have raised eleven children. There were times when we wondered if they would ever embrace some of the health and wealth principles that we live by.
There was a time in my (Ellie’s) early family life when we had three toddlers at the same time. If you ever want to observe the entitlement mentality in action, just watch children this age play together—if you can call it that. It’s more like watching them fight together. Tiny tots have a skewed sense of reasoning. This mind-set was perfectly captured in this poem:
The Toddler’s Creed
If I want it, it’s mine.
If I give it to you and change my mind later, it’s mine.
If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.
If it’s mine, it will never belong to anyone else, no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it is mine.1
What’s cute in a toddler is tedious in a teenager and downright debilitating in an adult. It’s a sense of entitlement. Whether it’s the food they want to eat or the things they want to buy, from spitting out their peas to begging for a sports car on their sixteenth birthday, children are wired to believe they are entitled to fulfill their immediate desires. It seems like one day they are toddlers demanding control of all the building blocks, and the next day they are young adults who feel entitled to all their parents’ assets. They may think they deserve whatever they want, but it is our job to make sure they learn the principle of reaping what they sow by teaching them how to manage their own money and health in small ways from an early age.
Sadly, some children in the current millennial generation (fifteen- to thirty-three-year-olds) haven’t grown up beyond their “terrible twos.” As adults, their sense of entitlement is robbing them of their future. They are struggling to apply basic financial principles, especially when it comes to boundaries between their assets and their parents’. Sometimes they act as if “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.”
This applies to money matters, and it also applies to health. Children need to learn about money matters for themselves, but they also need to learn healthy habits and that there are limits to what the body is capable of doing without proper rest, exercise, and nutrition.
There are three primary areas where people have fiscal and physical problems. If we can get a handle on these issues in our own lives and then teach our children to do the same, we can equip them for a brighter future. The three areas are
1. living an “immediate gratification” consumptive lifestyle,
2. accumulating debt or excess weight, and
3. failing to adhere to a budget or an eating plan.
On the other hand, if your kids grow into adults who can manage their health and wealth responsibly, they may
1. reach personal goals such as finishing college or staying physically fit,
2. live with less stress and have greater security, and
3. become responsible members of society.
To be continued next Friday……..
If you missed last week’s post:
Frugal Friday with Marsha–Lean Body Fat Wallet Book Review