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Quotes from the Masters: Plato

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As a teacher, one of the most frustrating things to deal with is a student who just refuses to try. It seems that some children are immune to every strategy or trick that the teacher may have his or her repertoire.

However, there are other students, who, even though they seem to continually fail, pick themselves up and try repeatedly.  These students are the true inspiration for the rest of us.  Their diligence and determination are traits that will serve them through all the facets of their life.  These are the students that Plato, a teacher, himself, was most likely referring in his quote,  Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

Consequently, even small progress encourages the teacher to positively support the student and urge more frequent attempts at the lesson being learned.  A pat on the back, a sticker, an acknowledgement of any kind can fill the student with pride. Moreover, when the light bulb glows in the student’s eyes, the gift is given back to the teacher as his or her own encouragement to keep trying. The cycle is complete.

Many thank to Robin at Bringing Europe Home for sponsoring the “Quotes from the Masters” challenge. Please go and visit her blog; it is an inspiration.

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Should I Give my Child an Allowance?

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Piggy Bank Savings

          An allowance is an amount of money given on a regular basis for the purpose of helping the person cover business or living expenses, according to Dictionary.com. Of course, we do not envision our children flying out on a business trip or even paying for their own housing any time soon.  However, the idea of giving our child an allowance is one that we often ponder as our child begins to get older.  We wonder if giving our child money is the right thing to do. At what age should allowances begin?  How much should we give and how often? Finally, how will an allowance benefit the child?

          Many financial gurus like Paul Lermitte, believe that parents need to teach their kids about money.  Since money is something that everyone eventually must use and manage, it is important for parents to introduce healthy habits and attitudes about money. In his book, Allowances: Dollars and Sense, Mr. Lermitte discusses six dangers associated with not teaching your children about money. These include financial dependency, destructive values, debt, loss of confidence, teaching the wrong thing, and family conflict. Lermitte outlines several universal principles that parents need to understand in order to teach their children financial responsibility.

          The age of the child and the interest will determine when a parent should begin lessons on money. If the child understands the concept of money and that it is used for the exchange of goods, then the child is ready for an allowance.  This could mean, depending on your child’s ability, at age four or five the child is ready for small doses of money management. Generally, most kids are seriously ready around the age of eight. By this time, they have learned basic money denominations in school; they can count change and dollars on their own. The child may even have friends who are already receiving allowances and may ask about it.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! Children need to learn money sense.

          Figuring out how much of an allowance to give your child can be a daunting task. Some people say that you should allot one dollar per age of the child. Others say you should give what the child’s friends are getting. However, realistically, it would be wiser to review what you already spend on them.  Of course, we are talking about extras like toys, entertainment, etc. and not living expenses like housing, utilities, and the like. Make a list with your child of all the expenses you expect your child to pay with his or her allowance. David McCurrach states in his article, “Give ‘em an Allowance!”, that you should, “Keep in mind the fact that kids have three uses for their money-spending, saving and sharing. Consider all three areas when you are coming up with the amount. In addition to setting the allowance, this process puts an end to the constant  requests to buy this and that and to give them money to do whatever their hearts desire.”     

          Tying allowance in with daily chores can be beneficial as long as it is distinguished between chores that a child must complete to be a part of a household, and chores that receive pay.  For instance, making his or her bed, brushing teeth, and picking up toys after playing are responsibilities that the child must do to be a productive member in the family. It is the extra chores that can be incorporated into the allowance system. Jobs like pulling weeds, washing the windows, and babysitting younger siblings, to name a few, that a parent may wish to put a dollar figure upon.  Remember, that in the adult world, people are paid to do a job outside of their responsibilities at home. This same rule should loosely apply to your child.

          The benefits of introducing an allowance to your child outweigh any fears a parent may experience in teaching the values of money. The child is given the opportunity to try and fail with money decisions in a safe environment with a financial planner nearby-You! Since elementary schools do not teach financial management, it is up to the parent to make sure a child learns good habits and skills. An allowance system is a perfect way to achieve this goal.

Below, are a few interesting places to further investigate the idea of giving an allowance to your child.

Allowances, Dollars and Sense, by Paul Lermitte – Web site and book.

Give ‘em an Allowance!”, by David McCurrach- Article

“Age- Appropriate Chores”, from Family Education-Article and hand chore chart you can print.

Allowance Calculator”, from Pediatrics.about.com-  Useful tool to decide an allowance amount.

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children by Neale S. Godfrey – Book

Money Sense for Kids, by Hollis Page Harman- Book

Bibliography

“Age Appropriate Chores”. (200-2012). Retrieved from Family Education: http://life.familyeducation.com/allowance/jobs-and-chores/34438.html

“Allowance Calculator”. (2012). Retrieved from Pediatrics.about.com: http://pediatrics.about.com/od/toolsandcalculators/l/bl_allcalc.htm

Crites, P. A. (2012). Should you give your child an allowance? Retrieved from University of Nevada: http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/cy/2000/fs0045.pdf

Lermitte, P. (2012). Book One: Allowance, Dollars and Sense. Retrieved from Paul W. Lermitte, Family Business specialist: http://www.paullermitte.com/books/book-one-allowances-dollars-and-sense

McCurrach, D. (2012, 1 28). “Give ‘em an Allowance”. Retrieved from Kids’ Money for Parents: http://financialplan.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.kidsmoney.org/allart.htm%23Fea1

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

GRADUATION

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Graduations mark the time of year when young people all over the country are making the transition from one way of life to another. 

This evening I attended an 8th grade graduation for a very small class of outstanding young men and women. As they stood proud in their formal robes and hats waving tassels with the bow of their heads, I noticed that a few of them had tears in their eyes.

Were those tears happy tears? Were they tears of sadness and loss, or tears of knowing that their elementary travels are forever behind them?  Do they realize that new and more difficult roads await them in high school and in their teenage years? The friends that they forged a strong bond with today may not be traveling on the same highway with them tomorrow.  The knowledge that they tested and tried will now be the base of all the learning they will ever do. 

These rites of passage remind us all that life can never stay static for too long.  Eventually, we all move on to new adventures, new friends, and new challenges.  It would be wonderful if there were graduations for all our transitions in life.  Kind of a celebration for when you move from your safe spot to one that is demanding, like when you change jobs, or become a grandparent.  However, if we celebrated every evolution we made then we would never have time to enjoy them.  Therefore, in keeping the commencements at the pinnacles of life allows us to give reverence to all the little moments that lead to graduation day.  The hardships and difficulties that we had to overcome to achieve this glorious commemoration seem insignificant when that diploma is finally secure in our hands. 

In honor of all the graduates tonight, all over the country, I wish you good luck.  I wish you new friends, fresh knowledge, and novel experiences that you can celebrate once again at your high school graduation.  Goodbye to you all and God bless you on your journey.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Parents Who Don’t Parent

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It is a shame that children do not come with instruction manuals when they are born. 

Although, most parents figure out how to raise their children quickly, using advice from books and magazines, grandparents, and good old common sense there are some parents who just do not have a clue. Possibly, they were a product of bad parenting themselves, so they do not have a good model to base their parenting skills on with their child.  Whatever the reason, it seems that these parents and their children have the ability to upset any unsuspecting person in their immediate range.

Case and Point:

     Calvin, an unruly child, comes to school in kindergarten. This child does not share, talks back to the teacher, and bullies other students.  A meeting between the parents and the teacher is set up, and the teacher explains the problem to the parents.  Rather than supporting the teacher, who is trying to help Calvin, the parents blame the teacher for not giving Calvin enough attention.  

     This scenario continues with Calvin and his parents all through his elementary education.  Each time Calvin’s transgressions are revealed to the parents, they deny that it is Calvin’s fault.  The denial becomes quite ridiculous; however, there is no amount of documentation can convince them that Calvin is a terror in the classroom.

     Calvin is suspended, receives detentions, other students fear him, and teachers tremble when they find out he is in their class.  Every time Calvin’s parents come to school to save him, they reinforce his bad behavior.  According to Calvin, the teachers are just mean.  They do not like him.  They just pick on him. It is never Calvin’s fault.

     In high school, the same pattern continues.  Calvin’s parents fight about Calvin’s treatment at the school board meeting, they write nasty letters to the editor of the local newspaper, and they even accuse a teacher of abusing Calvin.  The school asks him to leave. His parents register Calvin in a new high school, but it is not long before the same behaviors become evident.  Poor, poor Calvin.

The story of Calvin is one that could have been avoided, had his parents taken the advice of his kindergarten teacher and all the other adults who tried to tell them there was a problem.  If Calvin’s parents had used common sense and taught Calvin to be responsible for his actions, he probably would have stopped the behavior.

Children are not born knowing right from wrong.  It is up to the adults in their lives, generally their parents, to teach them these lessons.  A child, who never receives consequences for his or her actions, has no measure of what is good behavior or bad.  It is a free for all in the child’s mind. 

Carolyn Turner states in her article entitled, How to Help Children Learn from Experience, that “…everyone learns from their mistakes, even adults. It’s often called “learning the hard way” and usually the most effective lessons come from bitter experience.”  Giving Calvin some “hard loving” would have afforded Calvin’s parents more time to enjoy his experiences and less time fighting his battles for him.  For Calvin, learning from his mistakes would have made him a happier, better-adjusted child who could be independent and successful.

When parents fail to parent their children by allowing them to escape the consequences of their actions, they set the child up for failure.  Sometimes, not only in childhood, but also in life.  Someone will have to pay for mistakes made, and if it is not the child, then it will be the parents. The probability that Calvin will be going to mom and dad to get him out of jams later in his life is very large.  Therefore, it will not be his fault he wrecked the car, failed at his marriage, or worse yet, that his child is a monster.

Making good choices and being responsible for one’s actions are characteristics that human beings do not arrive in this world possessing. Every incident in a child’s life is an opportunity for a lesson.  It is up to the child’s parents to grasp those opportunities and use them to raise a happy, responsible child that is a joy.

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Gratitude

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Day Twenty:  Education:  Who was your favorite teacher? Explain what made that teacher likable and why you are grateful for being taught him or her?  What did you learn from that teacher?

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