Ten Reasons Not to Spoil Your Kids

Little kids can be so funny, and so incredibly cute. Their clowning can be a healing balm to a weary soul. However, many of those cute kid antics at two and three years old can become problematic later on. The sad puppy dog eyes have a tendency to cause adults to give in to whatever whims the child has at the moment. This manipulation can have serious consequences later on. Parents don’t plan to spoil their kids, but it happens as a result of allowing of certain behaviors to continue well after the “cute” stage has passed. Discipline and setting boundaries may cause temper tantrums and temporary ill feelings on the part of the child, but the negative behavior is only temporary. It is much better to nip misbehavior in the bud than to let it snowball into a major problem. If you need a reason to put an end to some of those antics, choose one of these.

  1. You’re Hurting Your Child in the Long Run –  Everyone knows that life is not fair. There are the “haves” and the “have not’s.” It’s always been that way, and it always will be that way. Spoiling a child sets her up to get hurt later on when she realizes that in some cases, she will be one of the “have not’s.” If she has been given everything up to that point, she will be ill-prepared to handle the disappointment.
  2. Finding a Sitter Will Often be a Struggle –  Babysitters talk, and they compare notes. If your child is known to be spoiled and difficult to handle, good luck finding a sitter after word spreads. It won’t take long to exhaust your short list of available candidates. With the shortage of well qualified, available sitters, why would any of them settle for taking on a spoiled child when there are well behaved, easy to handle kids who also need their services?
  3. You Want to Maintain a Peaceful Home Environment – The simple truth is spoiled children make a lot of noise. Whether it is throwing tantrums, yelling, nagging or just constantly insisting on being served, a spoiled child’s voice is always in your ears.
  4. Your Child Needs Boundaries –  Children like to know where their limits are in terms of acceptable behavior. Setting boundaries gives them a framework within which they can work. They will always test those boundaries to see how rigid they are, though. Parents will find that some boundaries will be more flexible than others. For example crossing the street alone is forbidden. Eating candy before dinner may be more negotiable, depending on the circumstances. Either way, your child needs those boundaries to be in place, and removing them only serves to spoil her.
  5. Avoiding Manipulative Behavior –  When a grandparent looks at you and says, “My, he has you well trained,” you can pretty well assured that your child is well on the way to being spoiled. According to child development professor, Dr. David Elkind of Tufts University a 5 to 6 year old who throws temper tantrums is being manipulative. Toddlers will throw tantrums to deal with their feelings, but for older kids that behavior is inappropriate and is used as a means of engineering the outcome they want.
  6. Your Child Needs to Learn to Be Independent – A child who needs his mother or father constantly, who won’t go to bed alone or allow anyone else to keep him is headed for problems. Kids need to learn how to socialize with others and how to be okay when they’re under the care of other responsible people.
  7. To Help Your Child Learn Self-Discipline – Society is full of over-indulgent people who are ruining their lives and the lives of others by their lack of self-discipline. This is a skill learned easily enough in childhood, but it becomes a difficult task to learn later in life. Teaching your child to be self-disciplined well help her develop into an adult that can handle the ups and downs of life without turning to self-destructive behaviors.
  8. Teaching Your Child to Make Good Choices –  If you are always making choices for your child, when will she learn to make good choices for herself? Indeed, when she is very small, you make decisions for her, but as she grows older you can teach her how to make wise decisions by allowing her to choose for herself and explaining the consequences of her choices.
  9. Instilling a Sense of Self-Confidence –  A child whose parents always run to the rescue for every little thing learns to be needy and will most likely grow up feeling the need to be taken care of in all aspects. On the other hand, a child that grows up learning to do things on his own, with reasonable guidance and assistance is more likely to have self-confidence.
  10. To Encourage Contribution to the Household – If you don’t want to have a bunch of long-legged teenagers sitting around the house, waiting for you to clean up after them and attend to their needs, then you need to start early. While your kids are still small, give them simple chores that are age-appropriate. By doing this you are teaching them responsibility, and that they have roles to play in their community.

Spoiling your child is really putting him at a disadvantage which may last a lifetime. Teaching about responsibility, self-control, self-discipline and teamwork will also have long term consequences for your child’s future. Keep in mind the possibility your choice will also directly or indirectly affect your future as well. You may not want Junior still living in your basement and handing his laundry off to you when he is fifty years old.

10 Reasons to Encourage Humility in Your Kids

Many of the most admired people in the world have incredible humility. There is something very special about a person who can wield great power, while at the same time remain humble. This characteristic is becoming rarer in our society, yet it remains one of the greater virtues to be cultivated.  Encouraging your child to be humble about his accomplishments, even when they’re very impressive, is an important part of parenting for several reasons, ten of which are shared here.

  1. Because No One Likes a Know-it-All –  There are some very intelligent people in the world, and most of the more admired ones manage to keep their egos in check. Your child could end up a social misfit if she always insists on letting everyone know how smart she is, or reminding the people around her of her many accomplishments. It’s wonderful to be brilliant, but it’s even more wonderful to be brilliant and humble.
  2. Because Arrogance Isn’t Cool –  Most arrogant kids have a tendency to be rude in their behavior toward others. Rude behavior is not appreciated by anyone, especially other kids in your child’s peer group. If you would like to see your child well respected and accepted, teach him how to be humble, even if he does seem to be a cut above others.
  3. Because Humility Stands Out in a Crowd – Society is full of people who think much more highly of themselves than is warranted. These people usually get talked about and ridiculed behind their backs, and when they make a mistake or fail at something there is little sympathy. Those who have humility tend to have a higher level of respect from their peers. The humble tend to garner support when they need it, and will stand out from a crowd of kids with a false sense of entitlement.
  4. Because Teachers Appreciate Humble Students – Nowadays, teachers on every level have to deal with a variety of entitled attitudes and arrogant ideas. The humble student is like a breath of fresh air to the average educator. That can easily translate into a better educational experience for your child.
  5. Because Humility is a Sign of Self-Confidence – Someone who is confident in his knowledge and has self-assurance does not need to flaunt it, because his skills are evident. As your child gets older, teaching him to own his good points as well as his flaws will help him keep a realistic perspective on things. He will learn to have confidence in what he does know, and he will seek answers for those things he does not know.
  6. Because There are Amazing Examples to Hold Up for Your Child – When you teach your child about humility, you have some amazing role models to hold up. Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and so many others have done incredible work and managed to remain humble during the process. Teaching your children about such world leaders and their sacrifices will help instill the concept of humility despite greatness. Don’t forget to hold up the unsung heroes as well, family members, community people, friends, etc.
  7. Because Teaching Humility Also Instills a Sense of Gratitude – One aspect of humility is learning to be grateful. As you encourage humility in your children you are teaching them to appreciate and be thankful for what they have. Kids who have gone on mission trips to serve others less fortunate or those who are dealing with some sort of disaster such as a flood or tornado often return home with a great sense of appreciation for their own privileged position.
  8. Because Encouraging Humility is Encouraging Service to Others – It’s a very worthy cause to teach kids how to serve others. Learning to put someone else first is an important skill, and much needed in today’s self-centered society. Helping other people is putting the Golden Rule into action. As kids learn what it truly means to treat others as they would like to be treated, they will get a clear picture why humility is such an important virtue.
  9. Because Humility Builds Stronger Relationships – When one athlete in a team sport gets all of the attention for winning the game, sometimes he will credit his good fortune to his teammates. Such actions help foster better relationships between the members of the team. After all, it is a team sport and that single athlete could not have won the game alone, despite what the commentators would have people believe. Instilling this kind of thinking in your child will serve her well as she matures and learns how to work well with other people.
  10. Because Humble Children Are Usually Happier – The person who isn’t doing much has little to be humble about, but also little to be proud of in terms of their performance. On the other hand, a person who is achieving much and remains humble throughout all her successes is a person to be admired. As your child steps into this role, always encourage her both in her achievements and in her humility. She will learn to take pride in a job well done and how to share the limelight with those who helped her along the way, rather than pushing others away with grandiose statements designed to cover a deep-seated insecurity.

There’s a fine line between encouraging self-esteem and fostering a sense of arrogance. Striving to bolster kids’ self-esteem can backfire, as evidenced by the rise in arrogance and entitled attitudes. The air of entitlement has taken its toll while the virtue of humility and practice of humility have seemed to have fallen by the wayside. It’s not too late to turn things around, and starting with instilling a strong sense of humility in your child is a strong beginning.

15 Fundraising Ideas for Your Church Group

Whether you’re raising money for an upcoming mission trip or tuition for a student to attend a local Christian school, fundraisers are an important part of showing the community that you have an active church. They’re also a popular and relatively reliable way to fill the coffers for your next big group outing or project. These are a few options for hosting a fundraiser than can help to boost your church group’s income and bankroll future good deeds.

  1. Youth-Run Dinners – Older congregants enjoy seeing an active youth group. What better way to show them how these young people can work together toward a common goal than to have the kids serve dinner? While you’ll want to make sure that kids and teens are well supervised, especially in the kitchen area, the kids can manage a significant portion of the work. Charge a set price at the door, or set up a free-will offering system.
  2. Craft Sale – There are probably more crafters in your area than you would expect. Consider gathering their works together for a craft sale. Most are willing to donate their art for a good cause, and may even allow the church group to keep all funds raised through the event. Otherwise, offer them a certain percentage of the earnings as a show of gratitude for their hard work.
  3. Auction – No one can resist a good auction. Even secular businesses are usually willing to donate something to an auction, as it’s a way of advertising their product and business that casts them in a favorable light. The cost of the event is minimal, and usually all proceeds can be put directly toward your group’s fundraising goal.
  4. Walk-a-Thon – Host a walk or ride-a-thon, and have the participants raise money via sponsors. It gets a lot of people involved with worthy causes, and is a family-friendly activity that almost anyone can participate in. You just need a few people who are organized enough to pull together and work as a team to keep track of sponsors and participants.
  5. Pancake Breakfasts – Food is always a good way to raise money. People can’t help but show up for a delicious pancake breakfast. Pancakes are easy to make in bulk, and are sure to please the masses. Whether you charge each person or allow them to make a free-will donation, you will easily make back any money spent on the ingredients and then some.
  6. Community Yard Sales – You can tackle this as a lone group or you can combine with a local community-based group to create a citywide garage sale. During the summer months, people hunt down yard sales to find great deals. Make it easier for them by having a day or even an entire weekend devoted to yard sales for all who would like to participate. The fee for the participants could be a percentage of whatever they earn, or you could set a flat participation fee.
  7. Car Wash – A car wash is always a popular way to raise money, especially on warm, sunny days. Some gas stations will donate the water and location for the car wash, so all you’d have to provide are the soap and warm bodies that are willing to work.
  8. Golf Tournament – Coordinate with your local golf course to create a golf tournament that can take place every year. During the summer months, people look for any excuse to get out and enjoy a beautiful evening. Provide it for them by having a golf tournament where groups can sponsor teams and everyone can enjoy a bit of active, good-natured fun.
  9. Bottle Drive – Have the members of your church group go door to door collecting people’s bottles and cans to turn in to the recycling center or a scrap yard. Those few cents gathered here and there will add up in the end.
  10. Bake Sale – Again, food is a powerful motivator when you’re seeking donations. Even those who are on a diet will shell out $10 for that plate of cookies or cupcakes. Offering a few sugar-free and gluten-free goodies will also help to ensure that everyone’s able to enjoy a treat or two.
  11. Create Your Own Shirts – Tie-dyed shirts are a fun activity for everyone. Kids and adults alike enjoy picking out their favorite colors to swirl into a shirt they get to take home and keep. The supplies are affordable, and people can either bring their own shirt or buy one at the event.
  12. Raffles – Selling tickets for the chance to win a prize is always a successful fundraising move, but it does depend upon your ability to land the donation of a prize worth promoting. Speaking to business leaders and owners within your congregation may turn up some valuable leads, so don’t be afraid to get out there and start asking questions.
  13. Dinner Theater – Entertain and feed the members of your community with a dinner theater production. It doesn’t have to be anything too extensive, but you can hold auditions for the parts and practice a few times a week before putting on a family-friendly, faith-based show. Those who do not make it in auditions or who would rather not be “on stage” can help with making and serving the dinner, or collecting donations at the door.
  14. Seasonal Festival – This takes quite a bit of organizing and planning, but can become a beloved annual event. Volunteers can be recruited to help run booths and suggest activity ideas, which can generate far more money than you realize. With every passing year, your event and your proceeds will grow.
  15. Talent Show – Kids have a lot of talent, whether they know it or not. Host a talent show for the youth in your church group, and be guaranteed to have a crowd. Their friends and family will all pile in to witness the apple of their eye on stage, putting more ticket money in the collection plate.

Let your mind go and use your imagination to come up with new and exciting ways of raising money to fund your group’s good works. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or more expensive than is worthwhile. With creativity and fun, you can raise funds successfully for your project.